فصل 14

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فصل 14

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CHAPTER FOURTEEN

The Chase

Peter looked carefully at the boy in the leather jacket. ‘Sit down,’ Peter said. ‘Are you Tommy Logan?’

‘That’s right,’ replied the boy. He was about sixteen, with dark hair and a thin face. He seemed nervous and his eyes were moving all the time.

‘I want to ask you some questions about Mr Stevens,’ Peter told the boy calmly.

‘Are you from the police?’ asked Tommy Logan. Peter shook his head. ‘No, I’m not,’ he said.

‘In that case,’ replied the boy, ‘I don’t have to talk to you. Goodbye.’

The boy stood up and turned to go. Peter caught hold of the sleeve of the boy’s leather jacket.

‘Don’t go yet,’ Peter said quietly. ‘Let’s talk about your friend, Bob Steel’

A look of fear came into Tommy Logan’s eyes. He pulled his jacket out of Peter’s hand and pushed his way to the door. Peter got up and ran after the boy. When Peter got to the door he was just in time to see Tommy Logan jump on his motorbike. Peter ran out on to the pavement, but it was too late. Tommy Logan started the engine and drove off.

‘I know where he’s going,’ Peter said to himself. He ran back to his lorry and jumped in. He started the engine quickly and drove after the motorbike. But the motorbike was faster than the lorry and soon disappeared.

‘Never mind,’ said Peter to himself, ‘I know where he’s going.’

Peter drove back to River Street as fast as he could. As he turned the corner into River Street, he switched off the lorry’s lights. Peter drove slowly and quietly along the street and stopped close to number twelve. Outside Bob Steel’s house, Peter could see a motorbike. It was Tommy Logan’s motorbike. Peter had been right in thinking that the boy would come here.

Peter climbed over the wall into the garden and went up to the front door. It was wide open. Inside, Peter could hear voices. He started to climb the stairs. Just then, the door of Bob Steel’s room opened and someone switched on the light.

‘There he is, on the stairs,’ shouted Tommy Logan, pointing at Peter.

Before Peter could hide, Bob Steel and Tommy Logan came running out of the room. Peter got ready to stop them as they came down the stairs. Suddenly, Peter saw that Bob Steel was carrying a chair. It was the chair Peter had tied Bob Steel up in. Tommy Logan must have untied him. With a laugh, Bob Steel threw the chair at Peter from the top of the stairs. The chair was heavy. It hit Peter on the shoulder and knocked him down the stairs. Then Tommy Logan and Bob Steel ran down the stairs, jumped over Peter’s body and ran out into the street.

Peter lay at the bottom of the stairs. His head and right shoulder hurt badly. Then he heard the motorbike starting. With difficulty, Peter got up and went to the door. Bob Steel and Tommy Logan were both on the motorbike and they were driving away fast down the street.

‘I’m not going to lose them again,’ said Peter aloud. He forgot about the pain in his shoulder and ran as fast as he could to his lorry. In a moment he was chasing after the motorbike in his lorry. The motorbike turned right at the end of the street and went down the hill towards the river. Peter switched on the lorry’s headlights fully and with the tyres screaming, he followed the motorbike around the corner. Going down the hill, Peter was able to go faster than the motorbike and was soon only fifty metres behind. Then, at the bottom of the hill, the motorbike suddenly turned right into a narrow street. Peter followed the motorbike into the narrow street. As the lorry’s lights lit up the wall at the end of the street, Peter shouted happily.

‘Now I’ve got you,’ he shouted. ‘There’s no way out!’

The street had no exit. The only way out of the street was back to the road.

The motorbike went to the end of the street, and discovering that there was no way out, turned around. Then the motorbike drove back towards Peter. Peter could see Tommy Logan’s face as he drove the motorbike straight at the lorry. Peter quickly turned the lorry across the street so that the motorbike could not pass and then he waited for the crash.

With a roar, the motorbike came right up to the lorry. Then Tommy Logan saw a narrow gap between the lorry and the wall. The gap was less than a metre wide, but big enough to let the motorbike escape. The motorbike roared through the gap between the lorry and the wall.

Peter was furious. Angrily, he turned the lorry around and began to chase the motorbike. When he turned into the road by the river, Peter could just see the back light of the motorbike disappearing in the distance. He drove faster. He turned a corner. And then to his surprise, Peter saw that Tommy Logan and Bob Steel had been delayed. They had stopped in a queue of cars at the traffic lights. The lights were red and so the cars had to wait.

Tommy Logan looked over his shoulder and saw that Peter’s lorry was approaching fast. Peter was now very close. Tommy Logan decided that he would not wait at the red lights. Suddenly, he drove the motorbike out into the middle of the road and passed all the cars waiting at the traffic lights. Then, without stopping, the motorbike went straight across the crossroads against the red lights and nearly crashed into a car coming the other way.

Peter immediately followed the motorbike and passed the line of cars which was waiting. He didn’t wait for the traffic lights to turn green. He drove faster and chased Tommy Logan and Bob Steel across the crossroads and down the street.

They were getting nearer the centre of town now and the roads were busier. As Peter passed car after car in his chase after the two men, he looked in the lorry’s minor. In the minor, Peter could see a police car with its lights flashing, chasing both the lorry and the motorbike.

Well, thought Peter, I’m not going to stop now. I’ll catch that motorbike if it’s the last thing I do. With the tyres screaming and smoking as they went around the corners, Peter drove his lorry as fast as he could after the motorbike. And behind both the lorry and the motorbike came the police car with its flashing lights.

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