- زمان مطالعه 9 دقیقه
- سطح متوسط
دانلود اپلیکیشن «زیبوک»
این فصل را میتوانید به بهترین شکل و با امکانات عالی در اپلیکیشن «زیبوک» بخوانید
متن انگلیسی فصل
Just before ten o’clock that night, I was sitting on a shiny Harley-Davidson motorbike, parked by the sidewalk opposite the Alvear Palace Hotel. Rik had hired this stunning machine for me to use while we were in B.A. To match the Harley-Davidson, I was wearing a black suit with a blue tie and a white silk scarf, and a blue crash helmet.
I watched the doors of the hotel carefully. At ten o’clock, Carla and Brent came out. A few moments later, they were followed by Gail who was wearing a long green dress. The three of them stood together on the sidewalk.
Suddenly, a black limousine stopped beside them, and I saw Rik in the front of the car, next to the driver. Carla, Brent and Gail got into the back of the limo, which drove off down Avenida Alvear. I waited until it was a hundred metres ahead of me, then I moved the Harley-Davidson out into the traffic behind it.
After a short time, the limo turned on to the wide street called Avenida 9 de Julio, driving towards the La Boca district. I followed, but I stayed a hundred metres behind it. From that position, I soon noticed a red Ford, which was driving about sixty metres behind the limo.
‘It’s just a coincidence,’ I thought. But when we left the Avenida 9 de Julio and started to travel through much smaller streets, the red Ford stayed in the same position. By the time we reached the narrow alleys of the La Boca district, it was obvious that the Ford was either following the limo, or that the people in it were going to the same tango show.
The limo stopped in a dark street, outside what looked like a large private house. The four passengers got out of the car and went into the house. The limo drove away. I slowed down and watched the red Ford. It parked fifty metres away from the large house and two young men got out. They were wearing smart suits, and they had short hair. They walked quickly along the street and went into the house. I locked the motorbike and walked up to the red Ford. There was a copy of the Buenos Aires Herald on the back seat. That’s interesting,’ I thought. ‘An English language newspaper. Perhaps the men are just tourists.’
I went into the house. A waiter led me into a restaurant with long tables and a stage at one end. I joined Rik, Carla and the movie stars at one of the tables.
For a couple of hours, we ate. It was an excellent meal, and then - at midnight - the dancing started. The show was great! It was loud, exciting, and very lively. But there was something sad about the music. After an hour, I had discovered that at an Argentine tango show you only watch the performance - you don’t have to dance yourself. I was pleased about that!
But I was sitting next to Gail who wasn’t pleased about it. ‘I want to dance too,’ she said.
‘You can’t,’ I replied. ‘These are professional dancers who have spent their lives dancing the tango. They don’t want an American amateur joining in.’
‘I’ll show you,’ Gail said, standing up quickly.
A dance was just finishing, and before I could stop her, Gail had jumped up onto the stage. I called one of the male dancers over to our table, and I spoke to him briefly in Spanish-He nodded and smiled. Then he went back to the stage, and when the music began again, he started to dance with Gail.
She was fantastic! Gail danced the tango as if she had been born in Buenos Aires. We watched her in great surprise. So did the two young men in suits, who were sitting at another table!
At the end of the dance, the other dancers applauded Gail while she walked back to our table. When she sat down, her face was bright with excitement.
‘I’m an American amateur, am I, mister?’ she said. ‘And what did you say to that dancer?’
I thought for a moment. Then I told a lie. I wanted Gail to be happy. ‘I said that you were a famous American dancer,’ I replied. ‘I said that he would enjoy dancing with you.’ In fact, I’d told him that Gail couldn’t dance the tango, but that it was her birthday and she wanted to celebrate.
Soon, Brent, Carla and Rik went to the bar. Gail and I were alone.
‘You said you wanted to talk to me, Gail,’ I said quietly.
‘I suppose I should thank you for saving my life at the cemetery,’ Gail said. ‘Everything happened so quickly this morning. If you hadn’t been there, that stone ball would have killed me.’
I nodded. ‘Perhaps. You were very brave,’ I said. ‘Have you had any more messages?’
Gail shook her head. ‘No,’ she said. ‘Do you think that the person who has the photos is trying to kill me?’
‘I don’t know,’ I replied. ‘But I don’t think so. Whoever has the photos - he wants you alive, so that you can pay for them. But whoever dropped the stone - he wanted you dead!’
Gail opened her handbag. ‘Here’s the gun,’ she said, giving me the package. ‘Will you bring it onto the set for me again tomorrow? I feel much safer with it.’
‘OK,’ I said and I quickly put the envelope in my pocket as I saw Brent, Carla and Rik returning to our table.
‘Are you having fun?’ Rik asked.
‘Sure,’ I answered. ‘We’re just talking about being a Private eye.’
‘I don’t believe you’re a detective at all,’ Gail said with a sudden smile. ‘Prove it!’
‘Right,’ I said. ‘Do you see that table in the corner, by the door?’
‘The table with two men in dark suits sitting at it?’ Gail replied.
‘Yes, that’s it,’ I said. ‘Those two men followed you here. I’m going outside now. When I’ve gone, you go over to their table and ask them why they were following you. I think that that will make them leave. And then I’ll follow them. I’ll find out who they are.’
‘OK,’ Gail said, ‘let’s try it!’
I left the tango show and I went and sat on the Harley-Davidson. I put the gun into one of the motorbike’s big carriers. My guess was right! Two minutes later, the men in suits came hurrying out of the house and got into the red Ford. The engine started at once, and they drove off as fast as they could along the narrow streets. I followed them carefully.
Soon we were out on the straight, wide Avenida 9 de Julio again, and I had to stay closer to the Ford so that I didn’t lose it in the traffic. The Ford increased its speed and so did I.
‘They’ve seen me,’ I thought.
Soon we were both travelling at over a hundred and twenty kilometres per hour. It was nearly two o’clock, but there was still a lot of traffic on the streets.
The red Ford moved easily between the slower cars - the driver was very clever. He was very clever, but it was easy for me to follow the Ford on the big motorbike.
I got behind the Ford for a moment, but it accelerated again. It went through a red traffic light, and I followed it. So did a police car! A few moments later, I heard the sound of the police car’s siren behind me. Then I saw the flashing light as the police car came alongside me. A policeman in the front or the car shouted at me to stop. So I slowed down and stopped. The red Ford drove on at high speed down the wide avenue.
‘Que pasa?’ a tall policeman asked me, as we stood by the side of the road.
He told me to get off the motorbike and get into the back of the police car. There was another policeman in the car. He asked me, in Spanish, for some identification. I gave him my passport. He looked at it for a minute. When he spoke again, he spoke in English.
‘So,’ the policeman said, as he handed my passport back to me, ‘you are a visitor to this country. But you think you can break all the traffic laws - speeding, dangerous driving, going through red traffic lights -‘
‘I can explain, officer,’ I began.
‘My name is Garcia, Captain Roberto Garcia,’ the policeman said.
‘Captain Garcia,’ I began again. ‘I can explain.’
I told the policeman about my job, about the movie, about Gail and about the two men in the red Ford.
‘Yes, we saw the men in the red Ford,’ the captain said.
‘And why did you stop me, and not them?’ I asked.
Captain Garcia smiled and shook his head. ‘I couldn’t stop the car you were following. It had diplomatic licence plates,’ he said.
‘Diplomatic plates? Which embassy did the car belong to?’ I asked, although I was sure I already knew the answer.
‘The United States of America, senior,’ Captain Garcia replied.
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