فصل 07

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فصل 07

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متن انگلیسی فصل

CHAPTER SEVEN

In the Desert

The desert to the east of the River Nile and north of Karnak is rocky and mountainous. There are many hills and mountains and deep valleys.

There was a lorry in one of these valleys, about twenty kilometres north-east of Karnak. The lorry was parked beside a large rock. There were three men in the shade of the rock. They were keeping out of the heat of the midday sun.

‘You’ve been telling us lies, Farrow,’ one man said. He was tall with a red beard. ‘You know where the tomb is, but you’re pretending not to know.’

Farrow looked at the Dutchman.

‘I don’t know where it is, Keesing,’ said Farrow. ‘In my book I say that the Queen’s tomb is somewhere near here. But I don’t know where it is exactly.’

De Fries, the other Dutchman, was a small man wearing dark glasses. He spoke quietly to Keesing.

‘Farrow’s telling lies,’ he said. ‘We’ve been here in this desert for three days and we have not found the tomb. But I’m sure Farrow knows where the tomb is.’

‘We are wasting time, Farrow,’ said Keesing. ‘If we don’t get to the tomb this evening, I won’t call Greer on the radio. Greer has his orders. You’ll never see your wife again.’

Farrow knew what the orders were. Keesing had a powerful radio transmitter in the back of the lorry. He spoke to Greer every evening before seven o’clock. If Greer did not get a call by seven o’clock, he had orders to get rid of Christine Farrow.

Keesing turned and walked to the lorry. After a few moments, De Fries spoke to Farrow.

‘Greer is a cruel and heartless man,’ said De Fries. ‘If he does not get a radio call by seven, he will kill your wife. Don’t be a fool. Take us to the tomb now.’

‘I’ve told you a hundred times,’ shouted Farrow, ‘I don’t know where the tomb is.’

‘It’s after midday now,’ said De Fries. ‘You have until seven o’clock. You know what will happen then. Keesing will not call Greer on the radio. And Greer is a cruel man-a very cruel man.’

Farrow sat in silence. He thought of his wife, Christine. She was young and beautiful. Farrow remembered how happy they had been. It seemed a long time ago. They had met Keesing and De Fries in Wales. That had been the end of their happiness.

‘All right, I’ll take you there,’ Farrow said. ‘The tomb is about ten kilometres away, but it won’t be easy to get there. We’ll have to hurry. And when we find the tomb, I’m going to leave you. I don’t want to be near that tomb when it’s opened.’

Keesing and De Fries did not say anything. They climbed up into the cab of the lorry and waited for Farrow.

‘Remember, Farrow, you’ve got until seven o’clock,’ said Keesing. ‘If we don’t find this tomb by then, your wife will die.’

De Fries started the engine of the lorry and waited for Farrow to tell him where to go.

‘Drive along this valley,’ said Farrow. ‘At the end of the valley we must turn left and travel north. And we must get up onto higher ground. I want to see where we are.’

De Fries drove carefully and slowly over the rough ground. There were large stones everywhere. The heat of the sun was like a burning fire.

‘This heat’s terrible,’ said Keesing. ‘Can’t you go any faster?’

‘If I go any faster, we’ll hit a rock,’ replied De Fries. ‘Then we’ll be stuck here for hours.’

They drove on. When the lorry reached the end of the valley, De Fries stopped. He turned to Farrow.

‘Where do we go now?’ he asked.

Farrow climbed down from the cab and took out his compass. He looked at the compass and he looked at the hills around him. Then he climbed back into the lorry.

‘Turn to the left here,’ Farrow said to De Fries. ‘And try to get up that slope in front of us. We’ll be able to see around us from the top of the slope.’

The lorry started to climb the steep slope to their left.

‘Stop, you fool!’ Keesing shouted at De Fries. ‘Luxor airport is not far from here. We’ve seen four planes in the last three days. We’ve seen them, but we don’t want them to see us.’

De Fries stopped the lorry.

‘If we don’t go up higher, I won’t be able to see where we are,’ said Farrow.

The men sat in the cab in silence. Keesing turned to Farrow.

‘Get out and climb up,’ he said. ‘The lorry stays down here.’

Farrow started to climb the slope. De Fries turned to Keesing.

‘Aren’t we going up with him?’ he asked.

‘He won’t run away,’ was Keesing’s reply. ‘He’s got no water. He knows he will die in the desert without water. And he knows that his wife will die too.’

Farrow felt dizzy in the heat of the sun. He found shade behind a large rock.

I’ve got to make them drive the lorry up onto the hill, he thought to himself. Someone may see us from the air and report us to the police. That’s my only hope.

‘Which way do we take now?’ De Fries asked Farrow when he got back.

‘There’s no way round this hill,’ replied Farrow. ‘We have to drive up here and over the top of the hill.’

‘We should have gone up there with him,’ De Fries said to Keesing. ‘We don’t know if he’s telling the truth.’

‘If there’s no way down the other side,’ replied De Fries, ‘we’ll turn round and head back to Luxor.’

‘I don’t think he is lying,’ said Keesing. ‘He knows what will happen to his wife. We’ll go up and over the top of the hill.’

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