فصل 05

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کتاب های خیلی ساده

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فصل 05

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CHAPTER FIVE

The Ship Goes Down

Alan and I ate breakfast at about six o’clock in the morning. I did not feel very hungry; the floor was still covered in broken glass and a lot of blood. But in other ways our situation was good. All the food and drink was in our room. Mr Riach and the captain were in the other room further along the ship.

Alan cut one of the silver buttons from his coat and gave it to me as a gift.

‘My father gave them to me,’ he said. Take one to remind you of last night. Anywhere you go and show that button, my friends will help you.’

Not long after, Mr Riach and the captain came to talk to us. They looked very tired. ‘You’ve destroyed my ship,’ said the captain. ‘There aren’t any men to sail it. We’ll have to go back to Glasgow. But this coast is very dangerous for ships. You’ve killed the only man who knew how to sail it.’

‘I’ve often sailed up and down this coast,’ said Alan. ‘I’ll still give you sixty coins if you take me to Loch Linnhe.’

The captain agreed to this. They also agreed to exchange some brandy for two buckets of water. The captain and Mr Riach were happy and we cleaned up our room.

When we hit Alan’s boat, we were sailing through the Little Minch. At dawn, after the fight, we were near the Isle of Canna. The quickest way to Loch Linnhe was through the Sound of Mull. But the captain had no map of this part of the sea and he was afraid of damaging his ship in this small channel of water. So we decided to sail down the west coast of Mull, around the south and up into the Loch.

This was a very pleasant time on the Covenant. The sun was shining, the wind was good and the mountains on the islands were very beautiful. Alan and I listened to each other’s stories during this time.

But when I spoke about my friend Mr Campbell, Alan said that he hated everyone with the name of Campbell.

‘But he is a good man,’ I said. ‘Why do you hate all Campbells?’ I asked him.

Alan told me that the Campbells had killed people from his family, the Stewarts. They then took their land from them, too. Alan then had to join the English Army to make some money. I was very surprised at this because Alan’s Scottish family history was so important to him.

‘But then I deserted,’ he said. ‘And now if the Redcoats find me, they’ll kill me.’

‘So you’re a Jacobite, and a deserter from the English Army? Why are you back in Scotland? Surely it’s too dangerous?’ I asked.

‘I miss my friends and my country,’ he replied. ‘But I also take money from the people in Scotland to their chief, Ardshiel. Ardshiel now lives in France but he wants to return to Scotland. He wants to win back his land for his followers. Ardshiel’s half-brother, James, gets the money from the people and I take it to Ardshiel in France.’

‘So the Highlanders pay twice to use their land?’ I asked. ‘Once to King George of England and once to Ardshiel?’

‘That’s right,’ said Alan. ‘When the Highlanders lost to the English at Culloden, Ardshiel had to run away and hide. The English took away all his power and his land. They also took away the weapons from the Highlanders. A Campbell called the Red Fox works for King George - he gives the king the rent from Ardshiel’s land. But the people still love their chief and continue to give him money - the English can’t stop that. But when the Red Fox heard about the money they were paying to Ardshiel, he became angry.’

‘And then what happened?’ I asked.

‘Well, David,’ he said, ‘the Red Fox wants Ardshiel to die. So he made all the Stewarts leave their homes. Now, I’ll find the Red Fox and kill him!’

Alan was very angry now, so I decided to talk about something different.

‘How did you escape the Redcoats? They are all over Scotland.’

‘It’s easier than you think,’ he said. ‘If you know the countryside well like I do, you can hide from the soldiers. And there are always friends to help you.’

It was late at night but because it was summer it was still quite light. The captain came in, looking very worried. He wanted Alan to sail the ship. We went outside and looked at the sea. On one side of the ship we saw something that looked like a fountain.

‘What’s that?’ asked the Captain. Alan told him it was the sea hitting some rocks. Then we saw more fountains. There were rocks under the water everywhere. It was very dangerous to sail the ship without a map to show us where the rocks were. Alan thought that there were fewer rocks closer to the land.

For a while we sailed close to the Isle of Mull and we were safe. But as we came around the coast of Mull, the wind stopped and the waves pushed the ship towards the coast. The next minute, the ship hit the rocks with a loud CRUNCH! We all fell down on the deck.

The waves grew bigger and the ship was thrown onto the rocks again and again. Some of the men were trying to put a small boat into the sea. It was very difficult because the sea was so rough. Waves kept breaking over us and the ship was sinking. Suddenly one of the men cried out; a huge wave hit the Covenant and we were all thrown into the sea.

My head went under the water and I started to sink. I came up but immediately I was pulled down again. I cannot remember how many times I sank and came up. The waves and the wind were very strong and it was difficult to breathe.

After a while, I found a piece of wood. I held onto it until I was in calm water. I looked around me and saw some land, not too far away. By now I was very cold. I knew I must swim to the land or die. It was very hard but after an hour I was finally on land. I lay on the beach in the moonlight. I was tired but alive.

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