فصل 05

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کتاب های خیلی ساده

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فصل 05

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CHAPTER FIVE

The new experiment

A few days later, John asked Mary to look at another experiment. He took her into a long, quiet room at the back of the factory. The room was full of the noises of small animals.

“I’ve been testing the waste products,’ he said. ‘Here, look at this.’ He gave her a sheet of paper. “Some of these rats have had the waste products in their food and drinking water. There’s no real problem yet. One or two have become ill, but not many. There’s nothing very serious.’ Mary read the results carefully. She didn’t like this kind of experiment, but she knew it was necessary. And John was right; no rats had died, and not very many were ill. ‘So what do you want to show me?’ she asked.

‘This,’ he said. He opened a box by the window. ‘These ten rats have had the waste products in their drinking water for two weeks now. I gave them a lot - five parts per million. They’re going to have babies today. If the babies are OK, we’ve got nothing to worry about.’

‘Oh, John,’ she said. ‘What an awful thing to do!’

‘I know, I know,’ he said. But he wasn’t listening. ‘Look,’ he said excitedly. ‘Some of them have been born already!’

He lifted some of the baby rats out of the box and looked at them through a magnifying glass.

‘Oh dear,’ he said at last, sadly. ‘Perhaps there is a problem. Look!’

Mary looked through the magnifying glass. She began so feel ill. There was a long silence.

‘There certainly is a problem!’ Mary’s voice sounded loud and high in the quirt room. She stared at the small animals under the magnifying glass. ‘Baby rats with no eyes, no care, six legs! Oh John! John! What have you done?’

He looked at her strangely. ‘It’s awful, isn’t it? Rut I had to know. And remember, Mary - their mothers have had five parts per million of these chemicals in their drinking water for two weeks. That’s a lot - much, much more than we’re putting in the river.’

Mary looked away from the rats. She remembered the beautiful afternoon that they had spent with John’s children, sailing on the dear blue water. ‘John, these waste products are dangerous!’ she said. ‘We’ve got to stop putting them in the river!’

‘Of course, of course.’ John put his hand on her arm. But it was the same hand - the hand that had held the rats. ‘Of course we’ll stop it, if we need to, Mary. The company can build machines to clean the waste products. I’ll start my report for David Wilson next week.’

‘But…’ She turned round to face him. His hand fell from her arm. ‘Don’t you think we should stop making the paint now, John? Perhaps it’ll take years to build those machines, and we’re putting the chemicals into the river right now!’

A shadow crossed his face. His eyes looked at hers, they away, out of the window.

‘I… don’t think we need to do that now, Mary. We’re putting, very little into the river at the moment. And the company will build those machines, won’t they?’

She remembered her long years of work, the hundreds of unsuccessful experiments. She touched his hand, and smiled. ‘I hope so, John,’ she said. ‘I really hope so.’

She turned, and went quickly out of the room.

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