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فصل 06

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متن انگلیسی فصل

CHAPTER SIX

As the sun burned through the morning haar, Angus set off on foot in the direction of Stockbridge, the arty area of the New Town. Brodie’s gallery was located in Raeburn Terrace, the main street running through Stockbridge. It would be a fairly long walk but a pleasant one, taking him through the Old Town and into the Georgian terraces of the New. With any luck the mist would lift enough to allow a view over to Fife and the hills to the north of the city.

Angus found walking helped the creative process. Today though, he simply let his mind wander; it was too glorious a day to think about work.

And in no time, it seemed, he’d arrived at the gallery, ‘Brodie’s’ written in chic silver lettering above the door. Looking through the window, Angus could see the cliched interior of a gallery: white walls, pale wooden floors, minimal furniture. Some brightly-coloured canvases were hung on the walls and a roughly-hewn sculpture sat in the corner.

Stopping to compose himself, he was surprised to see the crisp-loving Border Collie tied up to some railings: Brodie’s wife must be here.

As he turned towards the door, he almost collided with two large men striding out of the door, their leather jackets and aggressive demeanour not what you’d expect in an Edinburgh gallery.

Slightly flustered, he watched them walk away before entering the gallery. He stopped in front of the first picture and stared at it, but didn’t really see it. He was wondering who the men were and what they wanted.

Slowly, he forced himself to focus; he’d tie himself in knots if he weren’t careful, always imagining the worst.

Calm again he concentrated on what he was looking at: a landscape of a sunny beach, the sea gently lapping at the shore.

Adopting the manner associated with people looking at paintings, he moved slowly and quietly around the room, head tilted slightly so as to better enjoy the pictures. As he walked past, he noticed that a door at the back of the gallery - probably to an office or a storeroom - was slightly ajar. However, he couldn’t hear anything, so continued. Back at the front door he started again, this time reading the captions and moving more randomly here and there.

It didn’t take long to realize the paintings were all by the same person, a woman called Katrina McPhair. Finding a leaflet on the desk at the front, he read a short biography of her. She was from Inverness, in her late 20s, had studied in Edinburgh and was a fan of the Colourist movement, something which was evident in her paintings: bold colours, vivid landscapes and still-lifes, an enthusiasm for all things Scottish.

There was no photo of her, but Angus couldn’t help wondering if this was the girl with the red hair.

Deep in thought, he was startled by a voice: “Hello, I’m sorry, I didn’t hear you come in.”

He recognized the tall woman as Mrs Brodie. She was expensively dressed and could have been anything between 40 and 60. She looked poised and steady, but a slight redness around the eyes and nose belied this. She also didn’t look too happy to have a visitor.

“Hello, the paintings caught my eye so I came in for a closer look.”

He stopped and waited for a reply. Mrs Brodie turned to look at the painting nearest them, a brief appearance of pain on her face.

“Is… is everything all right? You look… I’m sorry…” Angus reached out a hand towards her. He suddenly felt very guilty for intruding on this woman’s grief and misfortune. He was ashamed of letting his curiosity get the better of him, but didn’t know how to put it right.

She had now completely turned away from him, her hands held up to cover her face, clearly trying not to cry.

“Should I go? I should go.” Angus took a step towards the door.

“No, no, please stay. I’m sorry. I just need a moment. Please have a look around.”

With her head bowed, she walked back to the small office. Angus hovered, unsure of what to do but, as she had left the door open, he took a few steps towards it. He could see her sitting at a small table and on the counter beside her a kettle and some mugs.

“Would you like me to make a cup of tea?” He asked hesitantly and received a nod in reply.

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