فصل 12

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فصل 12

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CHAPTER TWELVE

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‘Come on,’ said Peter, ‘tell me the truth.’ But Bob Steel didn’t say anything, so Peter twisted his arm a bit more.

‘Oh!’ cried Bob Steel. ‘Stop it.’

‘I’ll stop it when you start talking,’ replied Peter.

‘All right,’ said Bob Steel, ‘but I can’t talk here. Let’s go back to my house and I’ll tell you there.’

‘I’ve got a better idea,’ said Peter. ‘We’ll walk back to your house and you can tell me what you know as we walk.’

‘OK,’ said Bob Steel, ‘but please leave go of my arm.’

Peter laughed. ‘No,’ he said, ‘I don’t want you to run away again.’ Then they started walking back to River Street.

‘Now,’ said Peter, ‘did you send the police to the railway station?’

Bob Steel shook his head. ‘No,’ he said, ‘I didn’t do it.’

Peter twisted Bob Steel’s arm. ‘I don’t believe you,’ he said. ‘Why did you send the police to the station? Was it for money?’

‘No,’ said Bob Steel, ‘they didn’t give me very much…’ Then he was silent.

‘Very much what?’ asked Peter quickly. ‘They didn’t give you very much money. So you did tell the police that John was at the station, but they didn’t pay you very well.’

Bob Steel didn’t reply. They both walked in silence for a moment. ‘Who were you talking to?’ asked Peter.

‘When?’ said Bob Steel.

‘When I caught you,’ replied Peter.

‘I was talking to myself,’ said Bob Steel.

‘No, you weren’t,’ Peter said firmly. ‘I saw you talking to a boy. Who was he?’

Bob Steel didn’t answer. They walked on in silence again and were soon back outside number twelve River Street again.

‘Open the door,’ Peter told Bob Steel. ‘We haven’t finished our conversation yet.’

When they were sitting in the upstairs room again, Peter leant forward and started to speak seriously to Bob Steel.

‘Now, let’s be honest with each other. You make your living by selling information. You sold information about my friend John to the police.’

Bob Steel opened his mouth to speak, but Peter ignored him and continued.

‘You sold John to the police,’ said Peter. ‘But the police didn’t pay you very much, so someone else must have paid you as well. Someone else must have given you money to tell the police where John was. Am I right?’

Bob Steel looked at the floor and didn’t reply.

Peter went on. ‘I think that the person who paid you to tell the police where John was must have had a reason. I think he must have had a good reason to want to see John arrested by the police. Do you know what reason?’

Bob Steel shook his head. ‘No, I don’t.’

‘Well, I do,’ said Peter. ‘I think the person who paid you money to get John arrested was the murderer. Now, tell me the name of the person who paid you. Tell me his name.’

Bob Steel looked up. ‘You don’t understand, mister,’ he said. ‘I don’t tell people things. I sell information. If you want to know anything more, you’ll have to pay me.’

Peter raised his hand angrily to hit Bob Steel.

‘Don’t hit me,’ Bob Steel shouted. ‘If you hit me, I won’t tell you anything.’

Peter lowered his hand and smiled. ‘You would sell your own mother if you could,’ he said. ‘All right, I’ll pay you. How much do you want?’

‘You promised me eighty pounds,’ said Bob Steel quickly.

‘That’s right,’ answered Peter, and he took out the money. He held the money out to Bob Steel. ‘Here you are,’ Peter continued. ‘Tell me the name of the person who paid you to get John arrested.’

Bob Steel took the money and counted it. Then he put it in a pocket of his old coat.

‘Well,’ he said, ‘I’m afraid I can’t tell you the name.’

‘What!’ shouted Peter angrily.

‘Wait a moment. Let me explain,’ said Bob Steel. ‘I can’t tell you the name because I don’t know it. But I can tell you two things.’

‘What are they?’ asked Peter.

‘Firstly,’ said Bob Steel slowly, ‘that everything I told you this afternoon was true.’

‘Tell me what you said this afternoon again,’ said Peter.

‘Very well,’ said Bob Steel. ‘I told you that Mr Stevens wasn’t killed for money. He was killed by someone who knew him. He was killed by someone young.’

‘What’s the second thing you have to tell me?’ Peter asked.

‘Just this,’ replied Bob Steel. ‘If you go to Manor Park Secondary School you will find the answers to all your questions.’

‘How will I find the murderer at Manor Park Secondary School?’ asked Peter in surprise.

‘Mr Stevens was a teacher there,’ answered Bob Steel.

Peter stood up quickly. ‘I’m going to go there now,’ he said. ‘But I may have some more questions to ask you - especially if I find that you haven’t been telling me the truth. I think I’ll tie you up to make sure that you don’t go out while I’m away.’

Peter picked up a piece of rope which was lying on the floor. He tied Bob Steel to the chair in which he was sitting. Then Peter ran down the stairs and out of the house, leaving the front door partly open. Manor Park Secondary School was on the other side of Bristol. It was lucky that the lorry was around the corner. Peter got into the lorry and drove off to the school very fast.

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