فصل 08

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کتاب های ساده

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فصل 08

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CHAPTER EIGHT

Beowulf’s reputation among the Geats was great now. King Hygelac had not thought highly of the young hero before, but all that changed after he heard about Beowulf’s adventures. The king rewarded him generously for his courage, giving him a sword and land.

The years passed, and the Geats became involved in wars with their enemies. Hygelac was killed in battle, and Beowulf became king. He ruled well for fifty years, and grew into old age with wisdom.

Now a new danger threatened the Geat kingdom. There was an underground barrow, which contained a great quantity of treasure. The treasure had belonged to a noble family a long time before, but the family had been destroyed in war. Alone survivor of their blood had buried their riches in the ground.

Three centuries earlier a dragon had found the place and made its home there. He guarded the treasure in peace and quiet. No one came to disturb the dragon’s rest beneath the ground.

Now a foolish man went into the dragon’s hiding-place and stole a jeweled goblet. The thief took the goblet back to his master, and told him where the treasure could be found.

The dragon awoke from his sleep and was furious at his loss.

He saw the tracks of human feet, and emerged from the barrow when it was dark. He breathed fire in his anger, and wanted his revenge. He attacked the people on the land, burning their homes and killing everyone he found.

The Geat nation was afraid of the terrible destruction that the dragon brought with him. They feared his attacks in the darkness, the flames and death he carried with him.

One day Beowulf heard bad news. The dragon had come to his own house and burnt the throne room.

Beowulf was troubled at the news. He thought he had offended God in some way. He decided to take his revenge against the dragon. He was too proud to use his whole army in the battle, and he was not afraid of the dragon’s strength. He thought he was stronger than the beast.

He remembered all his past adventures, and this gave him courage. He remembered his battles against Grendel and the monster’s mother. He remembered how he had helped the Geats after their king Hygelac was killed. He had defeated the Geats’ enemies with his sword, and had protected Hygelac’s son Heardred. He had become king after Heardred’s death. Later he had avenged that death. When he thought of all these things, he was not afraid.

Beowulf took eleven warriors with him, and went out to look for the dragon. By now he understood what had happened. He had found the thief who had taken the goblet, and he made that man come with him. He told the thief to show him where the dragon’s barrow was. The thief led them to the coast, and showed them the place.

Beowulf sat at the top of the cliffs. He was sad because he felt that his death was near. He wished the Geats who had served with him good fortune in the future. Now he spoke to them: ‘I have survived many dangers in my life. I came to the court when I was young, and I saw trouble among the king’s family and war against our enemies. Hygelac gave me land to reward me for my loyalty to him. I always took my place at the front of the battle - and I shall fight like that until the end.’

Beowulf made a final promise to his men:

‘I was often in danger when I was young. Now that I am old, I will risk it once again for the sake of glory. I will fight that dragon if he comes out of the barrow.’

Then the warrior hero said goodbye to his friends. He ordered them to remain where they were so that they could see the outcome of the fight.

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