- زمان مطالعه 6 دقیقه
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دانلود اپلیکیشن «زیبوک»
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متن انگلیسی فصل
CHAPTER TWENTY ONE
Extract from the diary of Sir Eustace Pedler.
Pagett got a secretary for me - a woman called Miss Pettigrew. I have never seen a woman with such a hard face! She must be nearly forty, wears old-fashioned glasses and sensible boots and she is so organized she will drive me mad.
At the moment I am travelling to Rhodesia with a group of women. Race goes off with the two best-looking, of course, and leaves me with the one with sensible boots! And this is my private carriage, not Race’s.
All afternoon Anne Beddingfeld has been looking out of the window with Race, admiring the beauty of the Hex River Valley. Perhaps she is afraid of Miss Pettigrew. I don’t blame her. There is nothing attractive about Miss Pettigrew - she is a frightening female with large feet, more like a man than a woman.
I am going to stop working on my “Memories”. Instead, I shall write a short article - ‘Secretaries I have had’. 1, A murderer running from justice. 2, A man who has done something bad in Italy. 3, Miss Pettigrew, who, I have no doubt, is really a dangerous criminal! Probably one of Pagett’s Italian friends. I am sure that one day the world will find out that Pagett has been making fools of us all.
I went to join the women, expecting to be welcomed happily. But they were both fascinated by one of Race’s traveller’s stories.
I think I should call this carriage not ‘Sir Eustace Pedler and Party’, but ‘Colonel Race and Harem.’
‘I’m glad we came up here in daylight,’ cried Anne Beddingfeld.
It was a wonderful sight. There were great mountains all around us, through which the train turned and twisted upwards.
‘Is this the best train in the day to Rhodesia?’ asked Anne.
‘In the day?’ laughed Race. ‘My dear Miss Anne, there are only three trains a week. Mondays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays. We won’t arrive at Victoria Falls until next Saturday.
‘How long are you going to stay at the Falls, Sir Eustace?’ Mrs Blair asked.
‘That depends on what is happening in Johannesburg,’ I said. ‘In England I pretend to be an expert on South African politics. But from what I hear, Johannesburg will be a very unpleasant place to visit in about a week’s time. I don’t want to find out what life is like in a revolution.’
We have just left Kimberley, and Anne Beddingfeld has told us a surprising secret. It seems that she is in fact a reporter working for a newspaper. She sent a long telegram from De Aar this morning. All the time she has been looking for ‘the Man in the Brown Suit’. She did not know who he was on the Kilmorden - in fact, she hardly had the chance to find out, but she’s now very busy reporting: ‘How I travelled out with the Murderer’, and inventing stories of ‘What he said to me’, etc. I know how these things are done. I do them myself, in my ‘Memories’. She’s clever, though. She has discovered the name of the woman who was killed in my house - a Russian dancer called Nadina.
The police believe that Rayburn might have been on Monday’s train for Rhodesia. They contacted people all along the line and nobody of his description was found, but that doesn’t mean a lot.
He’s a clever young man and he knows Africa. He has probably changed himself into an old native woman.
Anyway, Anne Beddingfeld is looking for him. She wants the fame of discovering him for herself and the Daily Budget. Young women are very cold-blooded nowadays. I suggested to her that it was an unwomanly action. She laughed, and told me that if she found him, she would make her fortune.
Tomorrow we shall be going through Bechuanaland. The dust will be terrible. Also at every station little native children come and try to sell wooden animals that they make themselves. I am rather afraid that Mrs Blair may lose control of herself.
There is a strange attraction about these toys that may make her unable to refuse them.
As I feared. Mrs Blair and Anne have bought forty-nine wooden animals!
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