فصل 09

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فصل 09

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متن انگلیسی فصل

Chapter nine

Why were you looking at me?

The smartly-dressed hotel porter closed the back door of the white Mercedes. The car was new, and had dark windows. The driver started the engine, and the car moved quietly and smoothly away from the Carlton Hotel.

Traffic was heavy in the city and the white car moved slowly. As the car left the city centre the traffic became much easier and the car went faster. It headed to the north of the city where rich people lived. The car passed tall green and purple trees and high walls with glass on the top. Behind the walls were large houses with swimming pools. A few people walked along the side of the road. But these people didn’t live in that area. They were the people who worked in the large houses; the people who did the cooking and cleaning.

Monika sat in the back seat of the Mercedes with Vitjord. She was his guest. He was taking her to his house for lunch. When the lift doors had closed in the Carlton Monika had thought quickly.

‘Why were you looking at me?’ Vitjord had asked.

‘Because I’ve always wanted to meet you,’ Monika had replied. She had told Vitjord that she was on holiday in South Africa, and that she was Swedish. She had said that some of her friends, Kent and Gunilla, had told her about him, and that she thought he was wonderful.

‘And what’s your name?’ Vitjord had asked.

‘Maria,’ Monika had replied. ‘Maria Svenson.’

‘Well, Maria,’ Vitjord had said, taking Monika’s arm and smiling. ‘Would you like to have lunch with me?’

Monika had agreed. She had gone to her room and changed. In her jeans pocket she had put her wallet and her passport. Then she had joined Vitjord outside the hotel.

As she sat in the back of the Mercedes Monika thought to herself, ‘What am I doing here? In the back of a car with the man who tried to kill Carlsson. I must be mad!’

The Mercedes slowed down, turned, and then stopped outside tall wooden doors. The doors were in a tall, yellow wall and there was broken glass on top of the wall. The Mercedes drove in up to a large, yellow house which was set in a beautiful garden. There was a big swimming pool, and a black gardener was watering the grass.

Monika went into the house with Vitjord. They sat in a beautiful room which had lots of photographs on the walls. Vitjord offered Monika a drink.

‘An orange juice, please,’ she replied.

‘Nothing stronger?’ Vitjord asked, and gave himself a large drink.

Monika didn’t know what would happen next. She was afraid Vitjord would ask her lots of questions. She needn’t have worried. Vitjord was happy to talk about himself. He told Monika how he hated black people. He explained that he now lived in Mozambique for part of the year. He had his own army there. One day he would return to South Africa with his army and take over. He told her that soon the whole world would know who he was. Soon he would be one of the most important men in the world.

Monika listened and said nothing. She was afraid. Vitjord was mad. Completely mad. And he was buying a nuclear weapon! Her mother had been right. She should have gone to university and not joined the army!

A telephone rang in another room.

‘Excuse me,’ Vitjord said and got up. ‘Help yourself to another drink.’ He left the room.

Monika got up. But she didn’t get herself a drink. She walked around the room looking at the photographs. They were all pictures of Vitjord. Vitjord dressed as a soldier. Vitjord talking to a crowd. Vitjord with guns. Vitjord standing by what looked like dead bodies.

‘You like my pictures, yes?’

Monika jumped. Vitjord was standing right behind her. Although he was a big man he moved very quietly.

Monika nodded. ‘Where’s that?’ she asked pointing to the picture with the bodies.

‘Namibia,’ Vitjord replied. ‘We killed lots of blacks there.’

Monika felt sick. What was she doing here? she thought again.

Vitjord was still standing behind Monika. Suddenly she felt his arms around her. He held her strongly so she couldn’t move.

‘Just a moment,’ Monika said, with a weak laugh. ‘Where’s the toilet? I’ve just got to go to the toilet.’

Vitjord laughed loudly and let her go. ‘It’s near the front door. Don’t be long,’ he said. ‘I’ll be waiting.’

She walked quickly to the toilet and opened the door. But she didn’t go into the toilet. She closed the toilet door loudly and walked out of the front door. She suddenly felt the hot air on her face. She looked around the garden and saw that the gardener was still watering. The Mercedes was there. And the keys were inside!

Monika jumped into the Mercedes and started the engine. There was a shout! It was the gardener. Another shout! The driver was running out of the house. Monika turned the car quickly on the wet grass. She looked in the mirror and saw Vitjord at the front door. He had a gun.

There was a loud bang! Vitjord was shooting at her! Monika drove the Mercedes straight at the wooden doors. The engine screamed. The doors broke, and the Mercedes drove through into the street.

Vitjord ran out into the street behind the Mercedes and shot several times. He hit the car twice, but didn’t hurt Monika. She had escaped! Then she started thinking. How was she going to get out of South Africa? She couldn’t go back to the hotel. Luckily she had her passport with her. And Vitjord was looking for a blonde called Maria Svenson.

Monika slowed down when she had driven a few kilometres away from Vitjord’s house. She didn’t want to be stopped by the police. She drove slowly, and soon found what she was looking for: a shopping centre.

She bought a red dress, red shoes, a large white hat and dark glasses. She also bought a bottle of black hair color and went into the nearest toilet. Twenty minutes later she came out with black hair, wearing the new clothes.

She then drove the Mercedes to Jan Smuts Airport. It was two o’clock. As she walked into the building she was stopped by a white policeman. Monika’s heart jumped.

‘Yes?’ she said.

‘Any guns?’ the policeman asked and searched her. ‘Thank you. Have a nice day.’

Monika smiled to herself. Now all she had to do was buy a ticket. She looked at the TV screen with flight information.

‘Oh no!’ The first flight to Europe was not until eight in the evening. She couldn’t wait until then.

Then Monika saw a face she knew. It was one of Vitjord’s friends from the Carlton. He walked past her without stopping. The disguise was working!

Monika knew she couldn’t stay at the airport all day. Where was the next flight going to? She looked at the flight information. Maputo in Mozambique. Great. She’d always wanted to go to Mozambique.

The LAM Mozambican Airways flight to Maputo left half an hour later.

The flight to Maputo was quite short. Monika thought about washing her hair in the toilet, but there was no water. She sat back in her seat and thought about Vitjord and his plans. She hoped that Joseph had sent the cassette to Blom. When she got to Maputo she would try and get another flight to Stockholm as soon as possible.

‘I wonder what my parents would say if they could see me now,’ she thought.

Then she heard a voice that she knew. It was one of Vitjord’s friends from the Carlton - the one she had seen at the airport. He was sitting right in front of her! There was another man beside him.

‘I wonder where that Swedish woman is - the one who stole Vitjord’s car,’ the voice said. ‘She wasn’t at the airport, and she isn’t on this plane. I’ve looked and there aren’t any blonde women.’

‘Well,’ the other man replied. ‘I wouldn’t like to be her when Vitjord catches her.’ They both laughed.

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