فصل 06

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کتاب های ساده

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فصل 06

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CHAPTER SIX

A Call for Help

Forty minutes later, Leila and Ahmed were back in Salahadin’s office near Tahrir Square.

Salahadin had arrived a few minutes before them and was speaking on the telephone. He was arranging for a police plane to take him up to Luxor. He had a large map on the desk in front of him. It was a map of Luxor and the desert around Luxor to the north and to the east. Salahadin had marked a large X on the map about thirty kilometres north-east of Karnak.

‘OK, one o’clock at Cairo airport,’ said Salahadin on the telephone. ‘Yes, I’ll be there. Tell the pilot to be ready to take off at one o’clock.’

Salahadin put the telephone down and Leila placed Farrow’s book on top of the map in front of him.

‘We’ve found a message from Farrow,’ she said. ‘It’s on page ten.’

Salahadin opened the book and turned the pages. Farrow’s message on page ten had been written quickly.

HELP!

My name is Farrow.

I’m a prisoner of a gang of smugglers. They want me to take them to the tomb of Queen Axtarte. My wife held in Cairo by man called Greer. Gang afraid of policeman called Salahadin.

PASS THIS MESAGE TO POLICEMAN SALAHADIN.

Queen’s tomb 30 kilometres north-east of Karnak between snakes head and sitting man.

Don’t open tomb.

Great danger!

‘So I was right. The news report in The Sunday Times was a message. And it is the Amsterdam Ring. Jan Greer is a well-known criminal. He is wanted by Interpol for smuggling and murder.’

Salahadin stood up. He walked over to a wall which was covered with a large map of Cairo.

‘I’m flying up to Luxor at one o’clock,’ he said. ‘Leila, you and Ahmed will have to find Farrow’s wife.’

‘Cairo’s a big city,’ said Leila. ‘It won’t be easy to find her.’

Salahadin pointed at the map of Cairo.

‘Christine Farrow is being held by the Amsterdam Ring- they’re all Europeans - and she’s English,’ he explained. ‘They are foreigners here in Egypt. If they are holding the woman in an Arab part of the city, someone would notice them. They must be in a European part of Cairo - somewhere where lots of foreigners live.’

Salahadin placed his finger on the large part of Cairo, called Heliopolis.

‘Lots of Europeans live here,’ he said. ‘They could be in a house or a flat in Heliopolis.’

Salahadin moved his hand to the centre of Cairo. He pointed to Zamalek where Professor Gomouchian lived. ‘Or they could be somewhere here.’

‘The men who own the small shops in the streets - they will remember if they have seen any strangers,’ said Ahmed. ‘I’ll send my policemen to the European parts of Cairo. They’ll ask the shopkeepers if they have noticed any strangers in the last week.’

‘And I’ll go to the small markets in Heliopolis,’ said Leila. ‘I’ll speak to the servants who go shopping there. One of them may have noticed something unusual.’

Ahmed went back to Salahadin’s desk and picked up Farrow’s book.

‘What does Farrow mean by “great danger”?’ he asked.

Salahadin told them about his visit to Professor Gomouchian.

‘The explanation is here in Farrow’s book,’ he replied. ‘And Professor Gomouchian agrees that Farrow may be right. It is possible that Queen Axtarte had the germs of a terrible disease put into her tomb. Anyone who goes inside the tomb will die.’

‘So if the Amsterdam Gang take anything out of the tomb, they could spread the disease everywhere,’ said Leila.

‘That’s right,’ replied Salahadin. ‘It’s part of the Queen’s Curse. “The person who enters my tomb will die a terrible death - and many more shall die with him.”

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