فصل 10

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دانلود اپلیکیشن «زیبوک»

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دانلود اپلیکیشن «زیبوک»

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متن انگلیسی فصل

CHAPTER TEN

The hours that followed seemed the longest I had ever known. I went to bed, but wore a thick dressing-gown so I could jump up and take an active part in anything that happened. My heart beat quickly with excitement. One o’clock! And nothing. Wait - what was that? Feet running along the corridor. Then my cabin door opened suddenly and a man almost fell inside.

‘Save me,’ he said breathlessly. ‘They are hunting me.’

A cabin does not have many hiding-places for a six-foot man. But it was not a moment for argument. I could hear footsteps outside. I pointed - and he slipped down under the bed. As he disappeared, I pulled down the folding washbasin. A lady who was about to wash her face could not possibly be hiding a man she had never met before.

There was a knock at the door, and before I could say, ‘Come in’, it was pushed open. I think I expected it to be Mr Pagett or the Reverend Chichester with a gun. I did not expect a respectable night stewardess with a concerned face.

‘Sorry, miss, I thought you called out.’

‘No, I did not.’

‘I apologize for interrupting, but there is a man wandering about who is drunk and we are afraid he might get into one of the ladies’ cabins and frighten them.’

‘How terrible!’ I said, looking worried. ‘He won’t come in here, will he?’

‘Oh, I don’t think so, miss. Ring the bell if he does. Good night.’

‘Good night.’

Drunk! So that was the explanation.

‘Come out immediately,’ I demanded.

There was no answer. I looked under the bed. My visitor seemed to be asleep.

‘Very drunk!’ I thought.

Then I saw something frightening - blood on the floor.

Using all my strength, I pulled the man out. He had been stabbed in the left shoulder, there was a large cut made by a knife. I took his coat off and began to work. At the shock of the cold water his head moved, then he sat up.

‘Stay still, please.’ I told him.

He pulled himself up and stood, unsteady on his feet. ‘I don’t need anything.’

He was angry, refusing my help without any thanks!

‘That is a deep cut. You must let me bandage it.’

‘No.’

Now I became angry. ‘I do not like your manners,’ I said coldly.

‘Then I will leave.’

He moved towards the door, but almost fell. I pushed him down on the sofa.

‘Don’t be a fool. Do you want to bleed all over the ship?’

He finally listened to me and sat quietly as I bandaged the wound. ‘There,’ I said, ‘Now will you tell me what happened?’

‘I will not.’

‘Why not?’ I said.

He answered angrily. ‘If you want to tell everyone, tell a woman. Otherwise keep your mouth shut.’

‘How dare you!’ I cried.

He got up and we faced each other like wild animals. For the first time, I noticed the details of his appearance, the short dark hair, the strong jaw, the scar on the brown cheek, the light grey eyes that looked into mine in a way that was wild and dangerous and very hard to describe. I could not look away.

‘You have not thanked me yet for saving your life!’ I said softly.

That hit him hard. I knew it would. Somehow I knew that he would hate, more than anything else, to be reminded he owed his life to me. I didn’t care. I wanted to hurt him. I had never wanted to hurt anyone so much.

‘I wish you had not saved me!’ he shouted. ‘I would be better dead.’

‘You cannot avoid the debt.’ I said. ‘I saved your life and I’m waiting for you to say “Thank you.’”

If looks could kill, I think he would have killed me then. He pushed past me. At the door he turned. ‘I accept the debt. One day I will pay it.’

He was gone, leaving me with my heart beating so very fast.

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