فصل 19

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فصل 19

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متن انگلیسی فصل

Chapter nineteen

Everything Is Explained

I looked at the blonde girl.

‘So you agree that you’re really Elaine Garfield and not Helen,’ I said quietly. ‘Now tell me about Benny Greep.’

The girl took a deep breath.

‘Suzy Graham and I used to go out dancing together a lot,’ said Elaine. ‘We often went to Las Cabanas. One night when we were there, I met a wonderful man called Benny. Benny was the drummer in the band. I liked him very much and went to the nightclub very often, to see Benny. We became very good friends.’

The girl stopped again and took out her handkerchief.

‘Go on,’ I said quietly.

‘I used to go to Las Cabanas to see Benny nearly every night, but it was difficult for us to talk to each other,’ the girl continued.

‘Why was it difficult for you and Benny to talk to each other?’ I asked.

‘Because Benny was the drummer in the band, of course,’

Elaine Garfield replied. ‘We couldn’t talk to each other very much, because he was playing with the band most of the evening.’

‘I understand,’ I said and ordered two more coffees.

‘So I spent a lot of time in Las Cabanas, watching Benny play the drums,’ the girl said. ‘And I also watched everything else which happened in the nightclub.’

‘What did you see?’ I asked.

‘I didn’t notice anything unusual at first,’ the girl replied. ‘But, after a few nights, I noticed that the same people always came to the club, at the same time.’

‘Which people?’ I asked.

‘There was a red-haired man, a tall man who never took off his hat, and one or two others,’ said Elaine Garfield.

‘Yes,’ I said, ‘I think I have met two of them. They were the men who hit me on the head in the Manson Building.’

‘Anyway,’ the girl continued, ‘one night, I asked Benny why these men came to the club every night. Benny told me not to ask questions. So I watched the men more carefully afterwards and noticed that they always arrived with bags. But when the men left, they weren’t carrying bags.’

‘What did you do then?’ I asked.

‘I asked Benny about the men again,’ she said. ‘Benny said that there were a lot of strange things happening at Las Cabanas, and that it was dangerous to ask questions.’

The waiter brought the coffees and Elaine waited until he had gone.

‘One night,’ she continued, ‘one of the men was sitting at the table next to me. He was talking to some other men and he opened the bag that he was carrying. I was sitting quite close and I could see into the bag. The bag was full of diamonds and jewellery.’

‘Really?’ I said and drank my coffee.

‘I told Benny about the bag of jewellery, later on in the evening,’ continued Elaine. ‘Benny was very excited at the news.

He told me that he had known for a long time that criminals used Las Cabanas. They used the club as a place to buy and sell stolen things. Benny and I talked all evening about the bag of jewellery. Benny said that the jewellery was stolen. The men who were selling it were criminals and they had stolen the jewellery.

‘Well,’ Elaine continued, ‘Benny wanted to steal one of the bags. He said that the jewellery was stolen, so it didn’t matter if we stole it from the criminals. I agreed to help him. We hoped to sell the bag and to use the money to go away together.’

‘I see,’ I said, ‘and did you help Benny to steal the bag of jewellery?’

‘Yes, we waited for nearly a week,’ Elaine replied. ‘Then, last Sunday, I had a chance to steal the bag. It was at the end of the evening, and nearly everyone had left the club. I had found out where they hid the bag and I was able to take it and give it to Benny. Benny had big bags in which he carried his drums. It was easy for him to hide the bag of jewellery in the drum bag. We left the club together, with the bag of jewellery. We decided to hide the jewellery in my apartment and then sell it later.

‘The next day was Monday,’ Elaine continued, ‘and I went to work. In the afternoon, I had a telephone call from Benny. Benny said that the red-haired man knew that the bag of jewellery had been stolen. He was very angry. Benny told me to stop work and go home. He told me to stay at home, to make sure that no one came to take the jewels. Benny was going to continue working at Las Cabanas. Then no one would think that he had stolen the jewels.’

‘And did you stay at home?’ I asked.

‘Yes, I stayed at home for three days,’ Elaine replied. ‘But I was afraid that the red-haired man would find out where I was living. Then he would come to get the bag of jewellery.’

‘So what did you do?’ I asked.

‘That was easy,’ she said, with a smile. ‘I moved into a hotel in the centre of the town and then came to see you.’

‘But why did you come to see me?’ I asked.

‘To make sure that I was safe,’ said Elaine. ‘I pretended to be my sister and said that I had disappeared. I asked you to find me. Then I knew that I was safe.’

‘Why?’ I asked.

‘Because you were looking for me,’ Elaine continued. ‘If the men from Las Cabanas found me or took me away, you would find out and chase them.’

‘Thank you very much for thinking that I am such a good detective,’ I said. ‘But why didn’t you tell me the truth?’

‘That’s easy,’ said Elaine. ‘I didn’t want to tell you about the jewels.’

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