فصل 06

مجموعه: کتاب های ساده / کتاب: الماسی به بزرگی ریتزها / فصل 6

کتاب های ساده

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فصل 06

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  • زمان مطالعه 9 دقیقه
  • سطح ساده

دانلود اپلیکیشن «زیبوک»

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متن انگلیسی فصل

CHAPTER SIX

The Bribe

Long after midnight John woke up suddenly because he heard a loud noise outside his room. Then he heard some footsteps and a whisper. He knew his life was in danger and he was afraid.

With a sudden movement he pressed the button near his bed and the next moment he was sitting in the bath in the next room.

He jumped out wet and cold, and ran for the door. He stood near the big staircase and everything was silent and beautiful. Then two things happened at once. The door of his own sitting room opened and three slaves entered the hall.

Then Braddock Washington appeared in the elevator, wearing a fur coat and riding boots. He realized at once that these men wanted to kill him. They looked at Braddock Washington, who shouted, “Get in here! All three of you! Quick!”

The three slaves ran into the elevator. Something very serious was happening, something much more serious than his murder. But what could it be? Were the pilots trying to escape? Or had the people of Fish discovered the valley? John did not know.

He heard the elevator go up and down again. Percy was probably going to help his father, he thought. This was his opportunity to join Kismine and plan their immediate escape. He waited until the elevator was silent for several minutes and then he returned to his room and dressed quickly.

The door of Kismine’s sitting room was open and the lamps were on. Kismine was standing near the window, listening to something. As John entered she turned towards him.

“Oh, it’s you,” she whispered, walking towards him. “Did you hear them?”

“I heard your father’s slaves in my…”

“No,” she interrupted. “Did you hear the airplanes?”

“Airplanes? Perhaps that was the sound that woke me.”

“There are at least a dozen. I saw one a few moments ago against the moon. One of the guards fired his gun and my father woke up. We’re going to start shooting at them immediately.”

“Are they here on purpose?”

“Yes - it’s that Italian who escaped - but let’s go up to the roof garden and watch from there.”

She took his hand and they went up to the roof garden in the elevator, where John kissed her. From the roof garden they could see a dozen bombers flying in a circle and soon the anti-aircraft guns were attacking them. Kismine clapped her hands happily, but a moment later the bombers began dropping their bombs and the valley was in flames.

The airplanes began attacking the anti-aircraft guns, and soon one of them was destroyed. After a while only two guns were left. They could not protect the castle much longer.

“Come on,” John cried, pulling Kismine’s arm. “We have to go now. Don’t you realize that those airplanes will attack you if they see you?”

Kismine left the roof garden unwillingly. “We’ll have to wake Jasmine,” she said as they hurried towards the elevator. Then she added with a sort of childish delight, “We’ll be poor, won’t we? Like people in books. I won’t have any parents and I’ll be completely free. Free and poor. What fun!”

She stopped and gave John a happy kiss.

“It’s impossible to be both free and poor,” said John seriously. “I would choose to be free and not poor. You should bring your jewelry with you.”

Ten minutes later the two girls met John in the dark corridor. They went through the magnificent halls for the last time and stood for a moment out on the terrace and watched the battle.

Kismine led John and Jasmine along a path to a hiding place. From there they could watch the battle in the valley and escape when necessary.

It was three o’clock in the morning when they reached their hiding place. Jasmine sat against a large tree and fell asleep immediately. John and Kismine sat together and watched the battle. Shortly after four o’clock the last gun was destroyed in a cloud of red smoke. The airplanes were flying closer to the ground. Soon they would land and that would be the end of the Washingtons.

As the shooting stopped the valley became quiet. The castle stood dark and silent. It was beautiful without light as it had been beautiful in the sun. John saw that Kismine, like her sister, was sleeping.

Sometime later John heard footsteps along the path. He waited in silence for them to pass. Then he continued walking up the mountain. He felt that someone was there, ahead of him. He slowly lifted his head above the edge to see who it was.

Braddock Washington was standing on top of the mountain against the sky, which was gray just before dawn. John watched Braddock Washington, who was lost in his thoughts. He was as still as a statue. Then suddenly he told the two slaves who were at his feet to lift a huge object that was between them. The first rays of the morning sun hit the magnificent huge diamond as the slaves slowly lifted it. Then Braddock Washington lifted his head and began to speak with immense pride.

“You out there!” he cried. “You… there!” He paused for a moment, his hands were raised.

What was he doing? Was he praying? John thought.

“Oh, you up there!” The voice became strong and confident. He was not praying. “You there…”

John listened breathlessly but he could only hear a few words here and there. Then he suddenly realized that Braddock Washington was offering a bribe to God. The diamond in the hands of his slaves was a sample - a promise of more to follow.

Braddock Washington would give to God the greatest and most perfect diamond in the world. The diamond was so immense it could become an enormous building. It could be made into a great church. Many men would work on it for years and it would be decorated with gold and other precious metals. In the middle of the church there would be an altar of iridescent radium, which would burn out the eyes of anyone who looked at it while praying.

In return Braddock Washington asked for only a simple thing, a thing that would be very easy for God. He asked that things return to the way they were yesterday at this time, and that they remain so. It was very simple. Let the heavens open and take these men and airplanes. Let him and his slaves live as they did before.

Braddock Washington spoke to God. But was his bribe big enough for God, he thought. God had His price. It was said that God was made in man’s image, so He must have His price. And the price would be rare. It would not be an ordinary stone cathedral or a great pyramid. His diamond cathedral would be superior. That was his offer. God could take it or leave it.

As he finished speaking, his sentences became broken, short and uncertain. His hair had gradually turned white as he talked and now he lifted his head high to the heavens, like an old prophet - magnificently mad.

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