- زمان مطالعه 15 دقیقه
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متن انگلیسی فصل
PART TWO: ELLEN
On the Train
It was nine o’clock in the morning. Ellen Kingship was sitting in a train, on her way to Blue River, Iowa. She had been writing a letter to Bud Corliss. Bud was her boyfriend. Like Ellen, he was a student at Caldwell College. Ellen started to read what she had written.
I’m going to be away from Caldwell for a few days. Please don’t worry about me. I have decided to travel to Blue River. There’s something I have to do there. Perhaps I should have told you about it before I left. I didn’t tell you because I wanted to start it on my own. You asked me not to go to Blue River again. I know that you were trying to help me. I know that you didn’t want me to be upset. I hope that you won’t be angry with me, Bud. And I hope that you’ll help me when I need your help.
I’ve often told you how unhappy I was when my sister died, nearly a year ago. And you know that since I first met you at Caldwell last fall, you have made me feel much happier. You’ve been so good to me, Bud. But I can’t stop thinking about Dorothy. I’ve been thinking about her death a lot recently, and I’ve discovered something terrible! My sister didn’t kill herself - she was murdered!
You will say, “That’s stupid! The police said that Dorothy killed herself. The police know best.” But the police don’t know some things that I know now.
It’s true that Dorothy’s death couldn’t have been an accident. The wall around the air shaft of the Municipal Building was more than three and a half feet high. Dorothy couldn’t have fallen into the air shaft accidentally! But why did the police think that Dorothy killed herself? There were four reasons.
1) I had received a note from Dorothy on the day that she died. The police said that it was a suicide note. But there was something wrong about that letter. Dorothy had never called me “Darling”. She always wrote “Dear Ellen” or “Dearest Ellen”. And the letter didn’t really talk about suicide. It only said that something which Dorothy was going to do was going to make me unhappy. The letter said that she was sorry for that.
2) The police found Dorothy’s purse at the top of the Municipal Building and her birth certificate was in it. The police said, “She left the birth certificate there so that we could identify her easily.”
3) The police also found the end of a cigarette with Dorothy’s lipstick on it at the top of the building. They thought that she had gone to the top of the building, smoked a cigarette to make herself calm, then jumped into the air shaft.
4) The doctor who looked at her dead body discovered that Dorothy was two months pregnant. So the police thought that she had killed herself because she was pregnant. None of the newspaper reports of Dorothy’s death said that she was pregnant. That was because our father paid people to keep that information out of the newspapers! The police knew that. They knew that he hated the idea of unmarried women being pregnant. So the police thought that Dorothy was afraid to tell our father about the baby.
Dorothy was going to have a baby, so she must have had a boyfriend. None of her friends knew who the child’s father was. They hadn’t seen her with a boyfriend since Christmas. But she was two months pregnant in April, so she must have had a relationship with someone until February, at least. My father said, “It isn’t strange that this man hasn’t told the police about his relationship with Dorothy. He must know that she was pregnant. If he talks to the police, they will say that Dorothy’s death was his fault.” I agreed with this at the time. And I wasn’t surprised when the police didn’t try to find the father of Dorothy’s child. Making somebody pregnant isn’t a crime in this country!
And I wasn’t surprised that Dorothy hadn’t told me about her pregnancy. We’d argued at Christmas, and she hadn’t written to me since then. But I did wonder who the father of her baby was. A few weeks before we argued, Dorothy told me about a student who she liked a lot. He was in her English class. She said that he was tall, blond, and very handsome. Was he the father of the baby?
The police thought that my sister had killed herself, so they weren’t interested in any of her boyfriends. And there were some other things that the police weren’t interested in - some very strange things. The police didn’t know Dorothy, so they didn’t understand that these things were strange! But in the last few weeks, I have tried to understand these things.
Ellen stopped reading for a moment.
“Bud will be angry with me for visiting Blue River,” she thought. “But he’ll understand. He will help me when I need his help.”
She started reading again.
A few hours before Dorothy died, she borrowed a belt from one of her friends in the dormitory. Why did she borrow a belt, if she was going to kill herself? The police asked themselves that, but they didn’t think the question was very important. They said, “She was unhappy. She didn’t know what she was going to do.”
But there was another question which the police didn’t ask themselves. I took Dorothy’s things from her room at the dormitory after her death. I found something there which puzzled me. Dorothy had owned a belt exactly like the one that she had borrowed from her friend. It was still in her room. So why did she borrow her friend’s belt?
When she died, Dorothy was wearing a pair of new white gloves. She had bought them at a store in Blue River on the morning of the day she died. They were very cheap gloves and they weren’t very pretty. But in her room, Dorothy had a beautiful pair of expensive white gloves. Why did she buy a cheap pair of white gloves that day, when she already had a beautiful pair in her room? The police talked to the owner of the store where Dorothy had bought the gloves. The woman said that Dorothy had first asked for a pair of white stockings. The store didn’t have any white stockings, so she bought the white gloves instead. The woman said, “I think that she wanted something new that day. She didn’t care whether it was a pair of stockings or a pair of gloves.”
Dorothy was wearing a beautiful green suit that Friday. It was her best suit and she was very proud of it. But she was also wearing a very old white blouse. The blouse didn’t look good with the suit - it was the wrong style. And Dorothy had several much newer white blouses in her room. They would have looked good with the suit. Dorothy was very careful about her clothes - she dressed very nicely. So why was she wearing that old white blouse?
And there was another strange thing. When she died, Dorothy was wearing a bright blue scarf with her green suit and her brown shoes. The scarf didn’t look good with her other clothes. And Dorothy had some scarves in her room which would have looked good with the green suit.
For weeks now, I have been asking myself these questions - “Why did Dorothy borrow the belt from her friend, when she already owned one exactly like it? Why was she wearing that old blouse with her new suit? Why was she wearing the blue scarf? And why did she buy a new pair of white gloves when she already had some better ones?”
I asked myself these questions, and I told myself, “There is a message here from Dorothy. You must try to understand the message!”
Then two days ago, I asked myself the questions in a different order. I asked myself, “Why was Dorothy wearing the old blouse? Why did she buy the new gloves? Why did she borrow the belt? And why did she wear the blue scarf with her green suit?” And suddenly I did understand!
Bud, do you know the old poem about what a bride has to wear on her wedding day? The poem says that if she wears these things, she will be lucky. The poem says that a bride must wear: Something old, something new, Something borrowed, something blue.
The police said that Dorothy had gone to the Municipal Building because she wanted to kill herself. They said, “She wanted to jump from a high building, and the Municipal Building is the highest building in the town.” But I’ve discovered something else. The Municipal Building is also the building which contains the Marriage License Bureau. That’s where people go if they want to get married. And if someone wants to get married, they have to show a clerk at the bureau their birth certificate! And now I’ve looked again at Dorothy’s letter to me. Her words might be saying that’s she’s sorry for getting married without telling me first.
There’s one more thing. I’ve discovered that the Marriage License Bureau closes between twelve and one o’clock each day. It was ten minutes to one when Dorothy fell from the roof.
I now think that this is what happened last April. Dorothy had told her boyfriend that she was pregnant. He told her that he was going to marry her. On the day she died, he told her that he was taking her to the Marriage License Bureau. Then he took her to the top of the Municipal Building, because the bureau was closed for lunch. He waited while she smoked a cigarette, then he pushed her into the air shaft!
Well, Bud, all this is the reason why I have left Caldwell for a few days. I’m on my way to Blue River. I’m on the train now. I’m going to talk to the Professor of English at Stoddard University. I’m going to be a detective! I want to find out about handsome blond students in Dorothy’s English class. I want to discover who Dorothy’s boyfriend was.
Don’t worry about me, Bud. I’ll be very careful. I’ve seen lots of movies where a brave girl detective discovers the identity of a murderer. She always tells him that she knows the truth about him. And he says, “Now you know the truth, so I’m going to kill you!” If I find Dorothy’s boyfriend, I won’t talk to him, Bud. I only want to know who he is. Then I’ll tell my father about all this, and my father will talk to the police.
Ellen finished reading what she had written and she looked out of the window. The train was arriving at Blue River. In the distance, she could see the Municipal Building. She added a few words to her letter.
I’ll write to you again soon. I might know more by then. Wish me luck, Bud!
Love from Ellen
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