دوشنبه بیست و یکم سپتامبر سال 1942

دوره: آن فرانک: خاطرات یک دختر جوان / درس 11

آن فرانک: خاطرات یک دختر جوان

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دوشنبه بیست و یکم سپتامبر سال 1942

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متن انگلیسی درس

MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 21, 1942

Dearest Kitty,

Today I’ll tell you the general news here in the Annex. A lamp has been mounted above my divan bed so that in the future, when I hear the guns going off, I’ll be able to pull a cord and switch on the light. I can’t use it at the moment because we’re keeping our window open a little, day and night.

The male members of the van Daan contingent have built a very handy wood-stained food safe, with real screens. Up to now this glorious cupboard has been located in Peter’s room, but in the interests of fresh air it’s been moved to the attic. Where it once stood, there’s now a shelf. I advised Peter to put his table underneath the shelf, add a nice rug and hang his own cupboard where the table now stands. That might make his little cubbyhole more comfy, though I certainly wouldn’t like to sleep there.

Mrs. van Daan is unbearable. I’m continually being scolded for my incessant chatter when I’m upstairs. I simply let the words bounce right off me! Madame now has a new trick up her sleeve: trying to get out of washing the pots and pans. If there’s a bit of food left at the bottom of the pan, she leaves it to spoil instead of transferring it to a glass dish. Then in the afternoon when Margot is stuck with cleaning all the pots and pans, Madame exclaims, “Oh, poor Margot, you have so much work to do!”

Every other week Mr. Kleiman brings me a couple of books written for girls my age. I’m enthusiastic about the loop ter Heul series. I’ve enjoyed all of Cissy van Marxveldt’s books very much. I’ve read The Zaniest Summer four times, and the ludicrous situations still make me laugh.

Father and I are currently working on our family tree, and he tells me something about each person as we go along. I’ve begun my schoolwork. I’m working hard at French, cramming five irregular verbs into my head every day. But I’ve forgotten much too much of what I learned in school.

Peter has taken up his English with great reluctance. A few schoolbooks have just arrived, and I brought a large supply of notebooks, pencils, erasers and labels from home. Pim (that’s our pet name for Father) wants me to help him with his Dutch lessons. I’m perfectly willing to tutor him in exchange for his assistance with French and other subjects. But he makes the most unbelievable mistakes!

I sometimes listen to the Dutch broadcasts from London. Prince Bernhard recently announced that Princess juliana is expecting a baby in January, which I think is wonderful. No one here understands why I take such an interest in the Royal Family.

A few nights ago I was the topic of discussion, and we all decided I was an ignoramus. As a result, I threw myself into my schoolwork the next day, since I have little desire to still be a freshman when I’m fourteen or fifteen. The fact that I’m hardly allowed to read anything was also discussed. At the moment, Mother’s reading Gentlemen, Wives and Servants, and of course I’m not allowed to read it (though Margot is!). First I have to be more intellectually developed, like my genius of a sister. Then we discussed my ignorance of philosophy, psychology and physiology (I immediately looked up these big words in the dictionary!). It’s true, I don’t know anything about these subjects. But maybe I’ll be smarter next year!

I’ve come to the shocking conclusion that I have only one long-sleeved dress and three cardigans to wear in the winter. Father’s given me permission to knit a white wool sweater; the yarn isn’t very pretty, but it’ll be warm, and that’s what counts. Some of our clothing was left with friends, but unfortunately we won’t be able to get to it until after the war. Provided it’s still there, of course.

I’d just finished writing something about Mrs. van Daan when she walked into the room. Thump, I slammed the book shut.

“Hey, Anne, can’t I even take a peek?”

“No, Mrs. van Daan.”

“Just the last page then?”

“No, not even the last page, Mrs. van Daan.”

Of course, I nearly died, since that particular page contained a rather unflattering description of her.

There’s something happening every day, but I’m too tired and lazy to write it all down.

Yours, Anne

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 25, 1942

Dearest Kitty,

Father has a friend, a man in his mid-seventies named Mr. Dreher, who’s sick, poor and deaf as a post. At his side, like a useless appendage, is his wife, twenty-seven years younger and equally poor, whose arms and legs are loaded with real and fake bracelets and rings left over from more prosperous days. This Mr. Dreher has already been a great nuisance to Father, and I’ve always admired the saintly patience with which he handled this pathetic old man on the phone. When we were still living at home, Mother used to advise him to put a gramophone in front of the receiver, one that would repeat every three minutes, “Yes, Mr. Dreher” and “No, Mr. Dreher,” since the old man never understood a word of Father’s lengthy replies anyway.

Today Mr. Dreher phoned the office and asked Mr. Kugler to come and see him. Mr. Kugler wasn’t in the mood and said he would send Miep, but Miep canceled the appointment. Mrs. Dreher called the office three times, but since Miep was reportedly out the entire afternoon, she had to imitate Bep’s voice. Downstairs in the office as well as upstairs in the Annex, there was great hilarity. Now each time the phone rings, Bep says’ ‘That’s Mrs. Dreher!” and Miep has to laugh, so that the people on the other end of the line are greeted with an impolite giggle. Can’t you just picture it? This has got to be the greatest office in the whole wide world. The bosses and the office girls have such fun together!

Some evenings I go to the van Daans for a little chat. We eat “mothball cookies” (molasses cookies that were stored in a closet that was mothproofed) and have a good time. Recently the conversation was about Peter. I said that he often pats me on the cheek, which I don’t like. They asked me in a typically grown-up way whether I could ever learn to love Peter like a brother, since he loves me like a sister. “Oh, no!” I said, but what I was thinking was, “Oh, ugh!” Just imagine! I added that Peter’s a bit stiff, perhaps because he’s shy. Boys who aren’t used to being around girls are like that.

I must say that the Annex Committee (the men’s section) is very creative. Listen to the scheme they’ve come up with to get a message to Mr. Broks, an Opekta Co. sales representative and friend who’s surreptitiously hidden some of our things for us! They’re going to type a letter to a store owner in southern Zealand who is, indirectly, one of Opekta’ s customers and ask him to fill out a form and send it back in the enclosed self-addressed envelope. Father will write the address on the envelope himself. Once the letter is returned from Zealand, the form can be removed and a handwritten message confirming that Father is alive can be inserted in the envelope. This way Mr. Broks can read the letter without suspecting a ruse. They chose the province of Zealand because it’s close to Belgium (a letter can easily be smuggled across the border) and because no one is allowed to travel there without a special permit. An ordinary salesman like Mr. Broks would never be granted a permit. Yesterday Father put on another act. Groggy with sleep, he stumbled off to bed. His feet were cold, so I lent him my bed socks. Five minutes later he flung them to the floor. Then he pulled the blankets over his head because the light bothered him. The lamp was switched off, and he gingerly poked his head out from under the covers. It was all very amusing. We started talking about the fact that Peter says Margot is a “buttinsky.” Suddenly Daddy’s voice was heard from the depths: “Sits on her butt, you mean.

Mouschi, the cat, is becoming nicer to me as time goes by, but I’m still somewhat afraid of her.

Yours, Anne

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