فصل 19

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دانلود اپلیکیشن «زیبوک»

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دانلود اپلیکیشن «زیبوک»

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متن انگلیسی فصل

CHAPTER NINETEEN

Everything Rayburn had said that morning came back to me very unpleasantly. I did my best to be brave. ‘I was invited here by the curator of the Museum. If I have made a mistake…’

‘A mistake? Yes, a big mistake!’ His laugh was ugly. He was a tall Dutchman, with a red beard.

‘My friends know where I have gone,’ I said. ‘If I have not returned by this evening, they will come in search of me.’

‘Which friends?’

I thought quickly. ‘Mrs Blair, for one,’ I said.

‘I don’t think so,’ he shook his head. ‘You have not seen her since eleven this morning. And you received our note at lunchtime.’ His words showed how closely I had been followed, but I was not going to give in.

‘You are very clever,’ I said. ‘Perhaps you have heard of the telephone? Mrs Blair phoned when I was resting in my room after lunch. I told her where I was going.’ I was pleased to see this worried him.

‘Enough! Tomorrow you have questions to answer. And we will make you talk.’ He called and two men came and took me upstairs into a dusty attic room under the roof. First they tied a piece of material tightly over my mouth. Then they tied me with a rope until I could hardly move. I turned and twisted but I could not get loose or call for help.

At last I fainted, or fell asleep. When I woke it was dark. The moon was high in the sky and shining down through a small window in the roof. I could hardly breathe through the cloth and I was in terrible pain from being tied up for so long. Then I saw something in the corner - a bit of broken glass shining in the moonlight. My arms and legs were helpless, but I could still roll. Slowly, I began to move. It was painful - but I reached the glass. Even then it took a long time to cut through the rope around my wrists.

Once my hands had lost their stiffness, I was able to undo the cloth and then the rest of the rope. But it was some time before I could stand. I went quietly to the door and looked out. Silence. The moonlight through a window showed me the staircase. I went down it as quietly as I could. Half way I heard the faint sound of voices.

With great care, I went on down to the hall - then I stopped still. A servant boy was sitting by the hall door - but he was asleep. Should I go on? The voices came from the room I had been in. One was the Dutchman, the other seemed familiar too. I had to risk waking the boy up. I crossed the hall without a sound, knelt by the door and looked through the keyhole. There was the big Dutchman. The other speaker was - Mr Chichester!

‘It is dangerous. What if her friends come after her?’ the Dutchman said.

‘Nonsense,’ Chichester answered. ‘They have no idea where she is. Anyway, it’s the Colonel’s order.’

The ‘Colonel’ - this was the dangerous criminal Suzanne had told me about.

‘Why not kill her?’ the Dutchman asked.

‘I would,’ said Chichester. ‘But the Colonel wants information from this girl.’

‘The diamonds,’ I thought to myself.

‘Well,’ continued Chichester, ‘give me the lists.’

For a long time they seemed to talk only about large quantities of vegetables. Dates, prices and places, which I did not understand. It was half an hour before they finished.

‘Good,’ said Chichester, standing up. ‘I will take these for the Colonel.’

Quick as a flash I was across the hall and outside. I ran down the street as if my life depended on it.

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