فصل 01

مجموعه: کتاب های خیلی ساده / کتاب: جزیره دکتر مورائو / فصل 1

کتاب های خیلی ساده

178 کتاب | 991 فصل

فصل 01

توضیح مختصر

  • زمان مطالعه 6 دقیقه
  • سطح ساده

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Chapter one

Lost and Found

I was one of the few lucky passengers on the Lady Vain. When the ship went down in the Pacific in February 1887, I found myself in a small boat with another passenger, Helmar, and a sailor. I never knew the sailor’s name. A fourth man jumped from the ship, trying to reach us. But his head hit the side of the ship. He went down under the water and never came up again.

We had only a little bread and a small container of water on board. On the first day, the sea was very rough and we were almost thrown out of the boat. But then the sea became calmer and that danger passed. We spoke little. Most of the time, we did not move. We lay under the hot sun, looking out across the ocean.

On the fourth day, we had no more water to drink. We became very thirsty. Then on the sixth day, Helmar finally spoke of the idea that was already in all our minds. ‘We need to kill someone. Then the other two can drink his blood.’

Helmar had two longer sticks and one shorter one. The person with the short stick had to die. But the sailor chose the short stick and he did not accept the result. The love of life was too strong in him. He attacked Helmar, and the two men fought. I tried to help Helmar. But as I was going towards them, the boat moved suddenly. Helmar and the sailor fell straight over the side together and went down like stones.

In my weak state, I lay in the boat, laughing quietly. I did not know why I was laughing. But for many minutes I could not stop.

After that, I did nothing. I thought about drinking sea water.

That way I could die more quickly. But I was too weak even for this.

On the eighth day, I saw a sail far away across the sea. I remember thinking, ‘How strange. A ship is coming, but too late, because I’m already dead.’ Hour after hour, I lay with my head on the side of the boat, and the sail came closer and closer. I did nothing to call the ship to me. But still it came. I remember seeing the side of the ship next to my boat, and then… nothing.

I woke in a small, untidy room on board the ship. A young man was sitting by my bed, holding my wrist. He had fair hair, a thick moustache and grey, watery eyes.

The man started speaking. Suddenly, from above us, came the sound of metal against metal and then the low, angry growl of an animal.

The man showed no surprise, but repeated his question: ‘How do you feel now?’

I tried to speak, but no sound came from my mouth. Luckily the man saw the question in my eyes.

‘You were found in a small boat. You had no food or drink.’

I looked at my hand - terribly thin, with the skin hanging off it. Suddenly, I remembered my long days lost at sea.

‘Have some of this,’ said the man, offering me a red drink.

It tasted like blood, but I drank it all. I soon felt a bit stronger.

‘You are lucky that I know about medicine,’ said the man.

‘What ship is this?’ I asked slowly and painfully. These were my first words for many days.

‘The Ipecacuanha. Oh, and I’m Montgomery.’

The noise above us began again.

‘You’ll be OK now,’ continued Montgomery. ‘You’ve been asleep for almost thirty hours, you know.’

I heard a number of dogs up above.

‘Can I eat?’ I asked.

‘Of course. The cook is already preparing a meal for you.’

‘That sounds wonderful,’ I replied.

‘But tell me, what happened to you? Why were you alone in that boat?… Damn that noise!’ He stood up suddenly and left the room. He shouted at someone for a minute, then returned.

‘Well, you were starting to tell me your story,’ he said.

I told him my name, Edward Prendick. I was, I said, travelling in the Pacific because of my interest in natural history. He was excited by this, and told me about his own days as a biology student in London. He asked me many questions about his favourite places in the city - the university, the shops and, most of all, the clubs.

‘They were happy days,’ he said sadly. ‘But then I did something ally, and it all ended suddenly. Ten years ago now… I’ll just go and ask the cook about your food.’

The growls above us started again, even louder and angrier.

‘What’s that?’ I called after him, but the door was already closing. Montgomery came back a minute later with some food, and in my excitement at the wonderful smell I forgot about the animal noises.

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