فصل 03 - 01

مجموعه: کارآگاه مارپل / کتاب: انگشت محرک / فصل 6

فصل 03 - 01

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  • زمان مطالعه 5 دقیقه
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دانلود اپلیکیشن «زیبوک»

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متن انگلیسی فصل

CHAPTER THREE

That afternoon we went to tea with Mr Pye.

He was a small fat man who lived at Prior’s Lodge, a very beautiful house and made even more beautiful by Mr Pye. Every piece of furniture was polished and set in the perfect place. The curtains, too, were all made in perfectly chosen colours and of the most expensive silks. I thought that living there would be rather like living in a museum. Mr Pye’s greatest pleasure was taking people round his house. His small hands shook as he described his treasures. Luckily, Joanna and I are both interested in beautiful old furniture.

‘It is so fortunate’, Mr Pye said, ‘to have you here in Lymstock. The good people of the town are so, well - they don’t know anything about style. The insides of their houses would make you cry, dear lady. Perhaps they have already done so?’

Joanna said that she hadn’t gone quite as far as that.

‘But I’m sure you agree,’ he said, ‘that beauty is the only thing worth living for. So why do people surround themselves with ugliness?’

Joanna said it was very strange.

‘Strange? It’s criminal! And they give such stupid excuses. They even say that something is comfortable! Now, the house you are renting, Miss Emily Barton’s house, has some quite nice pieces in it. But sometimes, I think, it looks uncared for because she likes to keep things looking the same as when her mother was alive.’

He turned to me and his voice changed from that of a sensitive artist to that of a gossip.

‘You didn’t know the family at all? No, well, the old mother was an extraordinary person - quite extraordinary! A monster! “The girls”! That’s what she always called her five daughters. And the eldest was well over sixty then. Every night they had to go to bed at ten o’clock. And they were never allowed to invite friends home. She had no respect for them because they were not married. But she arranged their lives so that it was impossible for them to meet anybody!’

‘It sounds like a book,’ said Joanna.

‘Oh, it was. And then the awful old woman died, but of course it was far too late then. And soon they just died one after the other. All except Emily. It is so sad that she now has money problems.’

‘We feel rather awful being in her house,’ said Joanna.

‘No, no, my dear. You mustn’t feel like that. She told me herself how happy she was to have got such nice tenants.’

It was time to leave and we all went out into the hall. As we reached the front door a letter came through the letterbox and fell on the floor.

Mr Pye picked it up. ‘My dear young people, such a pleasure to meet some lively minds for a change. Lymstock is beautiful, but nothing ever happens.’ He helped me into the car. Then Joanna drove off and I turned to wave goodbye to Mr Pye.

But he did not see me, for he had just opened his letter. And his face was twisted with anger and shock. At that moment I knew that there had been something familiar about that envelope.

‘Goodness,’ said Joanna, looking in the car mirror. ‘What’s upset the poor old boy?’

‘I think,’ I said, ‘that it’s the letter.’

‘You mean a letter like the one you got? But who writes these things, Jerry? And why?’

‘You must read Freud and Jung to find that out,’ I said. ‘Or ask Dr Griffith.’

Joanna shook her head. ‘Dr Griffith doesn’t like me.’

‘He’s hardly seen you.’

‘He’s seen quite enough, it seems, to make him cross over the road if he sees me coming. But seriously, Jerry, why do people write anonymous letters?’

‘I suppose that if others have been unkind to you, or just not noticed you, and your life is dull and empty, you might get a sense of power from hurting people who are happy.’

As we drove through the town, I looked at the few men and women in the High Street. Was one of those healthy country people really filled with hate behind their calm expression, planning perhaps even now another evil letter?

But I still did not take it seriously.

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