فصل 03

مجموعه: کتاب های ساده / کتاب: جنایت لرد آرتور سویل / فصل 3

کتاب های ساده

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فصل 03

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  • زمان مطالعه 5 دقیقه
  • سطح ساده

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PART THREE

Murder

Ten minutes later, Lord Arthur ran out of Lady Windermere’s house. His face was white with terror and his eyes full of sadness. He walked out into the square. It was lit by gas-lamps.

The night was extremely cold, but his hands were hot and his face burned like fire. He did not stop walking. He seemed drunk. A policeman looked curiously at him; a beggar was frightened to see someone unhappier than he was. He stopped under a lamp, and looked at his hands. He thought he could already see blood on them.

Murder! That is what the chiromantist had seen on his hands. The wind blowing around the square seemed to tell him that even the night knew his secret.

He came to Regent’s Park. The dark trees seemed to fascinate him. He was tired and rested for a moment. ‘Murder! Murder!’ he repeated. He was frightened by the sound of his own voice. He felt a mad desire to stop someone passing by and tell him everything.

He then walked across Oxford Street and into other smaller streets. Two women with painted faces laughed at him. He could hear the sounds of physical violence. He felt pity. Were these children of sin and misery destined to an end similar to his? Were they, like him, puppets in a monstrous show?

He understood that suffering was a comedy not a mystery. It had no meaning, no form, no harmony.

After some time he found himself in front of Marylebone Church. Lord Arthur walked quickly towards Portland Place. Sometimes he looked behind him, because he thought that someone was following him. On the corner of Rich Street two men were reading a notice. He was curious to see what they were reading. He saw the word ‘Murder’ printed in big black letters. It was a notice that offered a reward for any information about a man of medium height, between thirty and forty years of age, with a scar on his right cheek. The last time this man was seen, he was wearing a hat, a black coat and brown trousers. He read it again and again. ‘Will they catch him? How did he get the scar? Will people read my name on the walls of London, one day?’ he thought.

This idea horrified him. He walked on in the dark but did not know where he wanted to go. He remembered vaguely walking through poor, dirty streets. When day came he was in Piccadilly Circus. He walked towards Belgrave Square and saw the great wagons pulled by horses bringing fruit to Covent Garden market. The men riding the big grey horses had pleasant, sunburnt faces and shouted happily to each other. He saw a fat boy wearing an old hat with flowers in it. He was laughing. There were lots of vegetables in the wagons. The green vegetables contrasted with the pink of the early morning sky. Lord Arthur was moved by the scene, but he could not say why. The beauty of the new day seemed to him sadly pathetic: the days start in beauty but end in a storm, he thought.

These men from the country saw a different London. A London free from the sin of night and the smoke of the day. He asked himself what these people knew about the city; its splendour, its shame, its joys, its hunger. London to them was probably just a market where they sold their fruit and their vegetables. They stayed only a few hours and then left. It gave him pleasure to watch them. He felt that they had lived with Nature and because of this had learned peace. He wanted their innocence.

When he reached Belgrave Square the sky was pale blue and the birds were beginning to sing.

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