فصل 15

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فصل 15

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دانلود اپلیکیشن «زیبوک»

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CHAPTER FIFTEEN

A Death

She was brave next day, when Maitre Hareng, the bailiff, accompanied by two witnesses, came to make a list of the goods to be sold. They began with Charles’s consulting room, then went into the kitchen and bedroom. They examined her dresses, they searched through her dressing room - and her whole way of life, with all its little secrets, was laid bare, like a body on an operating table.

Maitre Hareng, with his black coat buttoned up to the neck, his white tie and polished boots, would say from time to time, ‘Pardon me, Madame; will you allow me?’ And he frequently made little comments, such as, ‘Charming! Very pretty!’ Then he would make some more notes.

When they had gone through the rooms, they went up to the room under the roof. She had a desk up there in which she kept Rodolphe’s letters. That had to be opened.

‘Ah, letters!’ said Maitre Hareng, smiling politely. ‘But allow me. I must make sure the box contains nothing else.’

At last they went and Felicite returned. Emma had sent her to look out for Charles and keep him away.

Charles that evening seemed rather worried. She looked at him, then at the curtains, the chairs, all the things which had made her a little happier, but which would now ruin them.

The next day, Emma went to Rouen to see if she could find a way out. She visited every banker she knew the name of. Some of them laughed in her face when they heard her story. All of them refused. At two o’clock, she ran to Leon’s office. She knocked at the door, but no one came. At last Leon himself appeared.

‘I’ve something I must say to you,’ she said. She was very pale. ‘Leon,’ she said, ‘I want you to do something for me.’ Then, taking him with her two hands and giving him a shake, she said, ‘Listen, I want eight thousand francs.’

‘What? You’re mad!’

‘Not yet.’

And she told the story of what had happened, how she had let Lheureux lead her into disaster. And Charles knew nothing. She must have the money.

‘How do you expect me…?’

And her lover would do nothing to help her. She had nowhere to turn to.

‘What must be must be!’ she said to herself.

She was woken at nine the next morning by voices in the square. There was a crowd of people outside, all trying to read a big piece of paper stuck to the wall of her house.

‘Madame! Madame!’ cried Felicite, rushing in. ‘It’s a terrible shame!’

And the poor girl held out a yellow paper which she had just torn off the front door. Emma read that all her furniture was to be sold. They looked at each other in silence. Servant and mistress had no secrets from one another.

‘If I were you, Madame,’ sighed Felicite at last, ‘I would go and see Monsieur Guillaumin.’

‘You would?’

‘Yes, you go. That’s the right thing to do.’

She dressed and, in order not to be seen (there were always a lot of people in the square), she took the path by the river.

‘Monsieur,’ she said, after she was let into the lawyer’s dining room, ‘I want to ask you…’ And she told him her situation.

Maitre Guillaumin knew all about it. In fact, he was a secret friend of Lheureux’s, and knew the story better than she did herself. As he listened, he smiled a strange smile. When she asked him for help with the money that was being demanded, he said how sad he was that she had never come to him before. Then he put out his hand and took hold of hers, and kissed it greedily, playing with her fingers and looking in her face with his colourless eyes. She felt his breath on her cheek and could not bear it.

She jumped to her feet. ‘Monsieur,’ she said, ‘I am waiting.’

‘What for?’ said the lawyer, suddenly going as white as a sheet.

‘This money.’

‘But…’

Then, giving in to a desire he could not resist, he said, ‘Very well, yes! You can have your money!’

And he dragged himself along on his knees towards her, shouting, ‘For God’s sake, stay! I love you!’

He took her by the waist. Madame Bovary fell back with a terrible expression on her face, crying, ‘I know I have fallen, Monsieur, but I am not to be sold.’ And she turned and ran from the house.

Felicite was waiting for her on the doorstep.

‘Well?’ she asked.

‘No!’ said Emma.

And for the next quarter of an hour they went together through the names of all the people in Yonville who might perhaps help her. But every time Felicite mentioned a name Emma answered, ‘Do you really think so? Oh, no, I’m sure they wouldn’t.’

‘And the Doctor will be here in a minute or two.’

‘Yes, I know that… Leave me alone.’

Rodolphe! She had to see Rodolphe. He would help her, but what should she say, how should she begin? Emma entered the park by the side gate, and walked to the house. She climbed the stairs and went to his room. He was sitting in front of the fire, with his feet up on the fireplace, just lighting a pipe.

‘Hello! Is that you?’ he said, getting up quickly.

‘Yes, it’s me. Rodolphe, I want to ask your advice.’

‘You haven’t changed, you are as charming as ever.’

‘Ah,’ she answered bitterly, ‘sad charms. You said goodbye to them easily enough! Oh, Rodolphe!’ she sighed. ‘If you only knew… I loved you so!’

‘You’ve been crying!’ he said. ‘Why is that?’

Now she began to weep uncontrollably. ‘I am ruined, Rodolphe! I want you to lend me three thousand francs.’

‘But… but…’

Hurrying over her words, she told him her story, to which he listened carefully. When she had finished, he looked sadly at her and replied, very calmly, ‘I haven’t got it, dear lady.’

It was no lie. If he had had it, he would have given it to her. She stood for a few minutes looking at him.

‘You haven’t got it? Haven’t got it?’

She repeated it several times, then she went out.

The walls seemed to be shaking, and she felt that the ceiling would fall on her. When she was outside, she felt a little better, but all her memories, all her ideas seemed to fill her head and burst in a single flash. She felt she was going mad.

Night was falling, and dark birds were flying into the trees. The sky seemed full of balls of fire, falling slowly to earth, turning and turning. What could she do? How could she face the world? She went running down the hill, through the market place and into the pharmacist’s shop. The door was open and no one was there, though she could hear Justin, the assistant, talking to Monsieur Homais.

She entered the passage where the laboratory door was. On the wall hung a key labelled ‘Room 6’. It turned in the lock, and she went straight over and reached up to the third shelf, knocking over a small bowl which had stood beside it.

‘Is anyone there? Who is that?’

She could hear Justin walking down the corridor. She must be quicker. She read the labels, her eyes desperately searching for one particular bottle, a bottle which might give her a way out of this impossible situation.

‘Is there anyone there?’

She took down a blue jar with a small, hand-written label on it, pulled off the lid, and pushed her hand inside. She took it out full of a white powder which she began to eat then and there.

Justin ran into the room.

‘Stop!’ cried the boy, terrified, throwing himself on her.

‘Be quiet, they’ll come! They will blame your master for not locking his room.’

Then she left. They could do nothing to her now, and she felt a great peace in her heart.

Charles had come back to the house just after Emma left it to find Rodolphe. He did not know what to do. He sent Felicite to the Homais’, the Tuvaches’, Lheureux’s, the Lion d’Or, everywhere. Whenever anxiety for his wife lifted for a moment, he saw his own life ruined, his money gone, Berthe’s future destroyed. How? Why? Not a word. He waited until six o’clock in the evening. Then, unable to stand it any longer, he went out along the road for a couple of kilometres, saw no one, waited, and then came back again.

She had come home.

‘What was the matter? Why? Tell me all about it.’

She sat down at her desk and wrote a letter, which she slowly closed, adding the date and the hour. Then she said, ‘You will read that tomorrow. Until then, I beg you, do not ask me a single question… No, not one!’

‘But…’

‘Oh, leave me!’

And she lay down on her bed and seemed to fall asleep. She felt a bitter taste in her mouth, and it woke her up. She caught sight of Charles, and shut her eyes again. She tried to keep awake, wondering whether she had any pain. But no, nothing yet. She could hear the clock, the sound of the fire. Charles was standing by the bed, and she heard the sound of his breathing.

‘Ah, it’s nothing very much - dying!’ she thought. ‘I shall just fall asleep, and it will all be over.’

She drank some water and turned her face to the wall.

But there was still that horrible taste of ink in her mouth.

‘I’m thirsty… oh, I’m so thirsty!’ she sighed.

‘What can it be?’ said Charles, bringing her a glass of water.

‘It’s nothing… Open the window… I can’t breathe.’

And she began to vomit so suddenly that she hardly had time to take her handkerchief from under her pillow.

He questioned her. She did not answer. She kept perfectly still, for fear the slightest movement would make her vomit again. And she began to feel an icy coldness rising from her feet to her heart.

‘Ah, it’s beginning now!’ she whispered.

‘What did you say?’

She kept moving her head gently from side to side, opening and shutting her jaws, as if she had something very heavy on her tongue. At eight o’clock the vomiting began again.

Charles, examining the basin, noticed something white at the bottom.

‘That’s extraordinary, most unusual!’ he said.

‘No, no, you’re wrong,’ she replied in a strong voice.

Then, very lightly, he passed his hand over her stomach. She gave a horrible scream. He stepped back, terrified.

Then she began to shake and became paler than the sheet that she was holding. Her heartbeat was irregular. There were drops of sweat on her face. Her eyes stared without seeing, and she answered every question with a shake of her head. She even smiled two or three times. Gradually her breathing became noisier. Then she started to scream.

‘Oh, God, it’s terrible!’

He threw himself on his knees at her bedside.

‘Tell me! What have you eaten? For God’s sake, speak!’ And he looked at her with a tenderness in his eyes that she had never seen before.

‘All right - over there… there!’ she said weakly.

He ran to the writing-table, tore open the letter, and read aloud: ‘Let no one be blamed…’ He stopped, passed his hand across his eyes and then read on.

‘What!… Help! Help me!’ And all he could say was the word, ‘Poisoned, poisoned!’

Felicite ran to Monsieur Homais’ shop and he came back as soon as he heard what was the matter.

‘Be calm,’ said the pharmacist. ‘What is the poison?’

Charles showed him the letter and the pharmacist realized there was little to be done.

Emma saw the two of them and looked at Charles.

‘Don’t cry,’ she said, ‘I will not be here to worry you much longer.’

‘Why did you do it? Who made you do it?’

And she replied, ‘It had to be, my dear.’

‘Weren’t you happy? Was it my fault? I did everything I could.’

‘Yes, you did… You are kind, so kind.’

And she passed her fingers slowly through his hair.

‘Bring the little one to me,’ she said, raising herself on her elbow.

‘The pain isn’t getting any worse, is it?’ asked Charles.

‘No!’

The child came in, in her long nightdress. She looked thoughtful and not yet fully awake. She opened big, wondering eyes when she saw the room, and the bright candles.

‘Oh, Mummy, how big your eyes are! How pale you are! And your face is all sweaty!’

Her mother was staring at her.

‘I’m frightened,’ cried the little one.

Emma took her hand and tried to kiss it; she struggled to free herself.

‘That’s enough! Take her away!’ cried Charles.

After that Emma seemed a little better, but then she began to vomit blood, her limbs became stiff, her body was covered with brown patches, and her heartbeat raced. Then she began to scream again. She cursed the poison, she begged it to hurry up and finish its work. She pushed away everything that Charles tried to make her drink. He was standing stiffly by the bed, his whole body shaking from head to foot. Felicite ran from one end of the room to the other. There was nothing to be done except to call the priest.

When he came, Emma was lying with her chin sunk on her breast; her eyes were staring and her poor hands picked at the sheets. Pale as death, with eyes like burning coals, Charles - not crying now - was standing facing her at the foot of the bed, while the priest, resting on one knee, was whispering his prayers. Slowly she turned her head and suddenly, as she saw the priest kneeling beside her, a look of joy came over her face. The priest rose from his knees to show her the cross, and she leant forward and pressed her lips to the body of the Man-God. It was as if she kissed the figure on the cross with more love than she had ever given any person during her life.

She then fell back on to the bed, and they hurried to her side. Her life had ended.

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