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- سطح ساده
دانلود اپلیکیشن «زیبوک»
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متن انگلیسی فصل
The next morning, Miss Marple went out into the gardens. They were in a very bad way, the grass was long, the flower borders were full of weeds and the paths were overgrown. The kitchen gardens, on the other hand, were full of vegetables. And a large part of what had once been lawn and flower garden, was now tennis courts and a bowling green.
As Miss Marple pulled up a weed, Edgar Lawson appeared in a neat dark suit. She called him, asking if he knew where any gardening tools were kept. ‘It’s such a pity to see this,’ said Miss Marple. ‘I do like gardens. Now I don’t suppose you ever think about gardens, Mr Lawson. You have so much important work to do for Mr Serrocold. You must find it all most interesting.’ He answered quickly, ‘Yes - yes - it is interesting.’
‘And you must be of the greatest help to Mr Serrocold.’
His face became troubled. ‘I don’t know. I can’t be sure…’ He broke off.
There was a garden seat nearby and Miss Marple sat down. ‘I am sure,’ she said brightly, ‘that Mr Serrocold relies on you.’
‘I don’t know,’ said Edgar. ‘I really don’t.’ He sat down beside her. ‘I’m in a very difficult position.’
‘Of course,’ said Miss Marple.
‘This is all highly confidential,’ he said.
‘Of course,’ said Miss Marple.
‘Actually, my father is a very important man. Nobody knows except Mr Serrocold. You see, it might do my father’s position harm if the story got out.’ He smiled. A sad, dignified smile. ‘You see, I’m Winston Churchill’s son.’
‘Oh,’ said Miss Marple. ‘I see.’ And she did see. She remembered a rather sad story in St Mary Mead - and what had happened afterwards.
Edgar Lawson continued and what he said seemed more like a young man acting on a stage than talking about his life. ‘There were reasons. My mother wasn’t free. Her own husband was in a mental hospital - there could be no divorce - so there was no question of marriage. I don’t really blame them. My father has always done everything he could - privately, of course. But the trouble is, he’s got enemies - and they’re against me, too. They keep us apart. They watch me. Wherever I go, they spy on me. And they make things go wrong for me.’
Miss Marple shook her head. ‘Dear, dear,’ she said.
‘In London I was studying to be a doctor. They changed my exam answers. They wanted me to fail. They followed me, told things about me to my landlady. They follow me wherever I go. Mr Serrocold brought me down here. He was very kind. But even here, you know, I’m not safe. They’re here, too - working against me - making the others dislike me. Mr Serrocold says that isn’t true - but Mr Serrocold doesn’t know. Or else - I wonder - sometimes I’ve thought…’ He got up. ‘This is all confidential. You do understand that, don’t you? But if you notice anyone following me - spying, I mean - let me know who it is!’
He went away, and Miss Marple watched him and wondered. There was something a little wrong about Edgar Lawson - perhaps more than a little. And Edgar Lawson reminded her of someone.
A voice spoke. ‘Crazy. Just crazy.’
Walter Hudd was standing beside her. He was frowning as he stared after Edgar. ‘What kind of a place is this, anyway?’ he said. ‘They’re all crazy. That Edgar guy - what do you think about him? He says his father’s really General Montgomery. He told Gina he was the heir to the Russian throne. Hell, doesn’t the guy know who his father really was?’
‘I should imagine not,’ said Miss Marple. ‘That is probably the trouble.’
Walter sat down beside her. ‘They’re all crazy here.’
‘You don’t like Stonygates?’
The young man frowned. ‘I simply don’t understand! They’re rich, these people. And look at the way they live. Old broken cups and plates and cheap stuff all mixed up. No proper servants. Curtains and chair covers falling to pieces! Mrs Serrocold just doesn’t care. Look at that dress she was wearing last night. Nearly worn out - and yet she can buy what she likes. Money? They’re so rich.’
He paused, thinking. ‘There’s nothing wrong with being poor, if you’re young and strong and ready to work. I had some money saved. Gina comes from a better family than me. But it didn’t matter. We fell in love - we are mad about each other. We got married. We were going to open a garage back home - Gina was willing. Then that arrogant Aunt Ruth of Gina’s started making trouble and Gina wanted to come here to England to see her grandmother. Well, that seemed fair enough. It was her home, and I wanted to see England anyway. So we came. Just a visit - that’s what I thought.’
He became more angry, ‘But we got caught up in this crazy business. Why don’t we stay here - that’s what they say? Plenty of jobs for me. Jobs? I don’t want a job feeding sweets to baby criminals! Don’t people who’ve got money understand their luck? Don’t they understand that most of the world can’t have a great place like this? Isn’t it crazy to turn your back on your luck when you’ve got it? I’ll work the way I like and at what I like. This place makes me feel I’m trapped. And Gina - I don’t understand her anymore. I can’t even talk to her now. Oh hell!’
Miss Marple said gently, ‘I quite see your point of view.’
Walter gave her a look. ‘You’re the only one I’ve talked to so far. I don’t know what it is about you - I know you’re English - but you do remind me of my Aunt Betsy back home.’
‘Now that’s very nice.’
‘She had a lot of sense,’ Walter continued thoughtfully. ‘She looked weak, but she was tough - yes, ma’am, I’ll say she was tough.’
He got up. ‘Sorry about talking to you in this way.’ For the first time, Miss Marple saw him smile. It was a very attractive smile, and Walter Hudd was suddenly changed from an awkward bad-tempered boy into a handsome and charming young man. ‘I had to say it, I suppose. But I wasn’t right to worry you.’
‘Not at all, my dear boy,’ said Miss Marple. ‘I have a nephew of my own.’
‘You’ve got other company coming,’ said Walter Hudd. ‘That woman doesn’t like me. Goodbye, ma’am. Thanks for the talk.’ He walked away and Miss Marple watched Mildred Strete coming across the lawn to join her.
‘I see you’ve been bothered by that terrible young man,’ said Mrs Strete, as she sat down. ‘What a tragedy that is.’
‘Gina’s marriage. I told Mother it was unwise to send her off to America.’
‘It must have been difficult to decide what was right,’ said Miss Marple. ‘Where children were concerned, I mean. With the possibility of a German invasion.’
‘Nonsense,’ said Mrs Strete. ‘I knew we would win the war. But Mother has always been unreasonable where Gina is concerned. The child was always spoilt. Oh you’ve no idea, Aunt Jane,’ she cried suddenly, ‘And then there’s Mother’s idealistic projects. This whole place is impossible. Lewis thinks of nothing but these horrible young criminals. And Mother thinks of nothing but him. Everything Lewis does is right. Look at the garden and the house - nothing is done properly. There’s more than enough money. It’s just that nobody cares. Mother won’t even buy herself proper clothes. If it were my house…’ She stopped and then said in surprise, ‘Here is Lewis. How strange. He rarely comes into the garden.’
Mr Serrocold came towards them in the same single-minded way that he did everything. He appeared not to notice Mildred because it was only Miss Marple who was in his mind.
‘I’m so sorry,’ he said. ‘I wanted to take you round and show you everything. But I must go to Liverpool to help Jackie Flint. If only we can get the police not to prosecute.’
Mildred Strete got up and walked away. Lewis Serrocold did not notice. His earnest eyes looked at Miss Marple through thick glasses. ‘You see,’ he said, ‘the police nearly always take the wrong view. Prison is no good at all. Corrective training like we have here…’
Miss Marple interrupted him. ‘Mr Serrocold,’ she said. Are you satisfied that young Mr Lawson is - is quite normal?’
A worried expression appeared on Lewis Serrocold’s face. ‘I do hope he’s not getting worse again. What has he been saying?’
‘He told me that he was Winston Churchill’s son.’
‘Of course - of course. The usual statements. He’s illegitimate, as you’ve probably guessed, poor boy, and from a very poor family. He hit a man in the street who he said was spying on him. It was all very typical. His father was a sailor - the mother didn’t even know his name. The child started imagining things about his father and about himself. He wore uniform and medals that he had no right to wear - all very typical. But Doctor Maverick believes we can help give him self-confidence, make him understand that it’s not a man’s family background that is important, but what he is. There has been a great improvement. And now you say…’ He shook his head.
‘Could he be dangerous, Mr Serrocold? He talked to me of enemies - of persecution. Isn’t that a dangerous sign?’
‘I don’t think so. But I’ll speak to Maverick. So far, he has been very hopeful.’
He looked at his watch. ‘I must go. Ah, here is our dear Jolly. She will look after you.’
Miss Believer arrived in a hurry. ‘The car is at the door, Mr Serrocold. I will take Miss Marple over to Dr Maverick at the Institute.’
‘Thank you. I must go.’ Lewis Serrocold hurried away.
Looking after him, Miss Believer said, ‘Someday that man will simply fall down dead. He never rests.’
‘He is passionate about this cause,’ said Miss Marple.
‘He never thinks of anything else,’ said Miss Believer grimly. ‘His wife is a sweet woman, as you know, Miss Marple, and she should have love and attention. But the only thing people here think about is a lot of dishonest boys who don’t want to do any hard work. What about the good boys from good homes? Why isn’t something done for them? Honesty just isn’t interesting to cranks like Mr Serrocold and Dr Maverick.’
They crossed the garden and came to the grand gate, which Eric Gulbrandsen had built as an entrance to his ugly, red brick college building.
Dr Maverick, looking, Miss Marple decided, not normal himself, came out to meet them. ‘Thank you, Miss Believer,’ he said. ‘Now, Miss Marple, in our view, psychiatry is the answer.
It’s a medical problem - that’s what we’ve got to get the police and the law courts to understand. Do look up, you’ll see how we begin.’
Miss Marple looked up over the doorway and read: RECOVER HOPE ALL YOU WHO ENTER HERE
‘Isn’t that just right! We don’t want to punish these boys. We want to make them feel what fine young men they are.’
‘Like Edgar Lawson?’ said Miss Marple.
‘Interesting case, that. Have you been talking to him?’
‘He has been talking to me,’ said Miss Marple. ‘I wondered if, perhaps, he isn’t a little mad?’
Dr Maverick laughed cheerfully. ‘We’re all mad, dear lady,’ he hurried her in through the door. ‘That’s the secret. We’re all a little mad.’
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