- 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
I could feel hands touching my body. The hands turned me onto my side. Someone started to empty the pockets of my leather jacket. They took out my wallet, my business cards, my gun.
I opened my eyes a little. A face was looking at me. It had short blonde hair and green eyes, and it was smiling at me. I smiled back, but the blonde woman’s face didn’t change. I closed my eyes and opened them again. She was still smiling at me. I moved my head a little. It hurt!
‘Sit up!’ a voice said. It wasn’t Gail Lane’s voice. It was a man who spoke.
I opened my eyes wide and saw that I had been looking at a photograph of Gail. The photograph was on a low white bedside table. Mike Devine was sitting on the edge of the bed. He was wearing a white bathrobe with PALM BEACH RESORT written on it. He was holding my gun. And he was pointing it at my head.
‘Now,’ Mike Devine said in a quiet, hard voice. ‘Who are you? And what are you doing on my bedroom floor?’
I touched the back of my head. It still hurt. I looked at my watch. Two o’clock. I must have been unconscious for over an hour. Mike Devine had obviously woken up after the cold shower I had given him.
‘You can see who I am,’ I replied. ‘You’ve got my business cards. Look in my wallet and you’ll find my detective’s licence. Then please give me my things back.’
Mike Devine laughed. The gun was still pointing at my head. ‘I’m not that stupid,’ he said, and he threw the wallet over to me. ‘You open the wallet and show me your licence.’
I picked up the wallet and showed him my detective’s licence.
‘OK,’ Mike Devine went on. ‘Now tell me what you’re doing here. My apartment has been wrecked, and you’re lying on my bedroom floor.’
I told Mike what had happened, and how I had helped him to get home. He looked at me and shook his head.
‘No,’ he said after a moment. ‘I don’t remember a thing. And I don’t believe you.’
He walked over to a phone by the bed and picked it up.
‘Get me security,’ he said. There was a pause.
After a few moments he spoke again. ‘Security? Hi, this is Mike Devine in 501. I’ve got an intruder here. Can you come up? No, I’m not in danger. I’ve got his gun.’
Mike hung up and sat down on the bed.
‘You’re making a mistake,’ I said.
‘We’ll soon find out,’ he replied.
Two minutes later, someone rang the bell of the apartment door and Mike Devine went to open it. A moment later, he came back into the bedroom with another man. It was the doorman with the moustache - the man who had helped me carry Devine in from the car.
‘Where’s the intruder?’ the doorman asked.
Mike Devine pointed at me. The doorman gave a short, loud laugh.
‘He’s a private eye,’ the doorman said. ‘He brought you home, and he and I carried you up here.’
Mike Devine looked at me in surprise. He threw my gun back to me.
‘I’m sorry, fella,’ he said.
‘I’ve got a couple of questions,’ I said to the doorman. Did you let anyone in here earlier this evening? And did anyone leave after I got here?’
‘The answer to both questions is no,’ the doorman replied. ‘I don’t let people into apartments when the owner’s out. And no one left. If anyone had gone out through the hallway, I would have seen them.’
Mike Devine thanked the doorman, then turned to me.
‘There’s one thing, Mr Samuel. I don’t seem to have any money on me. Could you lend me fifty bucks?’
I smiled. Rich people! They’re the ones who’ve never got any money. I opened my wallet and gave Mike fifty dollars. He walked over to the doorman and gave him the money.
‘There’s no need to say anything about this to anyone,’ Mike said.
The doorman thanked him and left the apartment.
I sat on the bed and thought about what had happened. Who had hit me on the head? Had Mike himself done it? If he hadn’t hit me, there must have been someone else in the apartment. Certainly, someone had wrecked the living-room. Perhaps that person had hit me on the head when I came into the bedroom. But why?
I asked myself the question, but my head hurt and I felt tired. I couldn’t think of an answer.
‘Look,’ Mike said. ‘I’m sorry. It’s late. Can I offer you a bed for the night? I don’t know who’s been here. Whoever hit you on the head must have got out while I was in the bathroom. Perhaps they thought they were hitting me.’
‘But the doorman said that no one had left the building,’ I replied. ‘So perhaps they’re still here somewhere. Or perhaps they’re hiding in another apartment. But they must have a key to your apartment. The first thing to do is to make sure they’re not still here.’
Together, we searched every room in Mike Devine’s apartment. We found no one.
Suddenly, I had an idea.
‘I won’t take your offer of a bed for the night,’ I said. ‘My car’s outside. The police will take it away if I leave it in the street any longer.’
‘Put the car in the garage,’ Mike said. There’s a garage underneath the apartment building, and the elevator goes straight down to it.’
My idea had been a good one. Mike had told me something that I had already guessed.
‘So, someone could have left the apartment, then taken the elevator down to the garage and driven away without the doorman seeing them,’ I said.
At that moment, the phone rang. Mike Devine answered it.
‘Yes,’ he said. ‘Yes, I see.’ Then he hung up. He looked terrible.
‘Who was it?’ I asked.
‘Someone I owe some money to,’ he replied. ‘He said that he wrecked the apartment. He said it was a warning. He said he was sorry he had hit you. He thought you were me! And he said that next time, he wouldn’t wreck my apartment - he would wreck me!’
So the person who had hit me on the head was trying to frighten Mike Devine. And he had succeeded. Mike was looking very frightened indeed.
‘Mr Samuel,’ Mike said. ‘I think I need some protection. I will pay you to stay here for the rest of the night. Will two hundred bucks be all right?’
‘Plus the fifty you borrowed,’ I replied with a smile. I left the apartment, and went down to the hallway. I told the doorman I was staying for the rest of the night, then I went out into the street. Quickly, I drove the Chrysler into the underground garage.
Ten minutes later, I had turned off the lights in Mike Devine’s living- room, and I was sitting in a comfortable chair with my gun beside me. Mike had gone to sleep in his huge white bed.
The hours passed. Nothing happened. There were no intruders. I didn’t get any sleep.
The phone rang at six o’clock. I answered it. ‘Mr Devine’s apartment,’ I said.
‘Who’s that?’ a woman’s voice asked. I knew that voice. It was Gail Lane.
At that point, Mike Devine picked up a phone in his bed-room and began to speak. I hung up immediately, so I never knew what she said to him.
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