فصل 02

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کتاب های خیلی ساده

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فصل 02

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CHAPTER TWO

At home

‘Hi, Dad. Your supper’s in the kitchen.’

John’s sixteen-year-old daughter, Christine, was sitting at the table doing her homework. His son Andrew, who was thirteen, was watching television.

‘Thanks, Christine,’ John said. ‘I’m sorry I’m late. Is everything OK?’

‘Fine, thanks.’ Christine gave him a quick smile, then go with her work. John got his food from the kitchen, Fried fish and chips. The food was dry and didn’t taste very good. But he didn’t say anything about that. John was not a good cook himself and his children were no better. His wife had been a good cook, he remembered.

John tried to eat the terrible supper and looked around the small, miserable flat. The furniture was twenty years old, the wallpaper and carpets were cheap and dirty. The rooms were all small, and he could see no trees or gardens from the windows - just the lights from hundreds of other flats. And there were hooks, clothes, and newspapers on the floor.

Once, when his wife had been alive, he had had a fine house. A beautiful big house in the country, with a large garden. They had had lots of new furniture, two cars, pensive holidays - everything they needed. He had have a good job. They hadn’t needed to think about money. And then he had started the boat-building company, and his look had ended.

When Rachel had died, John had been terribly unhappy - much too unhappy to think about business. A few months later his company had closed, and he had lost all his money. John had had to sell his beautiful house in the country, and move to this miserable flat.

And for the last two years, he hadn’t had a job at all.

He was a poor man, and an unlucky one, too. He had tried for lots of jobs, and got none of them. There were too many bright young biologists. But now that was all going to change. He looked at his daughter and smiled.

‘Did you have a good day at school, Christine?’ he asked her.

‘Oh, all tight, I suppose,’ she said. She didn’t look very happy. ‘I’ve got a letter for you.’

She pushed the letter across the table, and he opened it. It was from her school. One of the teachers was taking the children on a skiing holiday to the mountains in Switzerland. It cost 400 pounds for ten days. Parents who wanted their children to go had to send the money to the school before February 25th.

John’s smile grew bigger. ‘Do you want to go on this holiday, Christine?’ he asked.

She looked at him strangely. ‘Of course I do, Dad,’ she said. ‘But I can’t, can I? We haven’t got 400 pounds.’

‘NO. I suppose not.’ He looked at her carefully through his thick glasses. She was a clever, strong girl - good at her school work, good at sports. But she had never been skiing. John hadn’t had enough money.

‘Are your Friends going?’ he asked her.

‘Some of them, yes. Miranda, Jane, Nigel the rich ones, you know. But they often go skiing; it’s easy for them. I know I can’t go, Dad. Throw the letter away.’ John looked at her, and felt his heart beating quickly. ‘No, don’t do that, Christine,’ he said. ‘Perhaps you can go, if you want to. Why not?’

Christine laughed. ‘What’s happened, Dad? Have you robbed a bank or something?’

John stood up. He went into the kitchen and got himself a drink. ‘No,’ he said, when he came back. ‘But something interesting happened today. Put your homework away, Christine and turn that TV off, Andrew. I’ve got something to tell you.’

‘Oh, not now, Dad!’ said Andrew. ‘This is an exciting story.’

John smiled. ‘I’ve got an exciting story, too, Andrew. Come and listen.’

John Duncan’s children lived in an old, untidy flat, they had no money, and they often ate awful food. But they could still talk to their father. So Andrew turned off the TV, and sat down in a big armchair beside his father and Christine.

The story didn’t sound very exciting at first. ‘I went to a factory today,’ John said. ‘That paint factory by the river. No, wait, Andrew. Paint factories can be very exciting. They gave me a job there. I’m going to have my own office, a big cat, lots of money - in fact, we’re going to be rich…!’

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