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مجموعه: کتاب های ساده / کتاب: زلزله / درس 7

کتاب های ساده

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  • زمان مطالعه 6 دقیقه
  • سطح خیلی سخت

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CHAPTER 7 Thieves

It was early in the morning when Gabriel arrived at the Delgados’ flat. His arm hurt badly, and he was terribly thirsty.

The street was quieter now. Most people were out in the country, or in the parks outside the town. But there were four or five men at work in the ruins of the building next door. They pulled the rubble away.

Gabriel watched them for a minute. Suddenly, they stopped working and listened.

‘I can hear something!’ one man said. ‘Here! I think it’s a child.

Quick! Come and help!’

Gabriel went to them.

‘I can help,’ he said.

One of them looked up and smiled at him.

‘Don’t be stupid,’ he said. ‘You’ve got to have two hands for this job. Go and sit down.’

Slowly, Gabriel went up the stairs to the Delgados’ flat. The building was dangerous, but he didn’t think about that. He could hear the cries of the child. He felt terrible. Then he felt something on the floor under his foot. He looked down. It was his red rose.

It was there, in the same place, by the front door. A rose from another world, another life.

The door of the flat was open. Gabriel called, ‘Mrs Delgado!

Silvia! Are you there?’

There was no answer, but suddenly, two men ran out of the sitting-room. The first man went down the stairs before Gabriel could stop him. Then the other man ran past. Gabriel put out his foot and the man fell over it. A box fell to the ground. The man didn’t stop. He jumped up and ran away.

Gabriel opened the box. There was jewellery inside it.

‘Mrs. Delgados jewellery!’ he thought. ‘So the thieves are busy now!’

He took the jewellery box into the flat. He looked round. The pictures were on the walls. Silvia’s camera was on the table.

‘Good,’ he thought. ‘The thieves didn’t have much time. They only took the jewellery, and

I’ve got it now.’

Then, near one of the armchairs, he saw Silvias dirty evening shoes. He thought for a minute. For the first time for hours, he smiled.

‘She wore those shoes last night,’ he thought. ‘So she came back here after the earthquake. She isn’t dead! She came home, and took her mother to a safe place. Oh Silvia, Silvia, you’re all right!’

Gabriel forgot his broken arm, and the cut on his head. He was suddenly happy.

‘I’ll look for them,’ he thought. They’re out in the country. I know they are. I’ll find them. I’ll . . . ‘ He stopped. ‘That’s stupid,’

he thought. ‘I’ll never find them. And I can’t leave. There’ll be other thieves later. I’ll stay here and look after the flat.’

He went into the kitchen. There was no water, of course, but there was some milk.

Gabriel had a long, long drink and then felt better. His head and his arm hurt, but his legs felt stronger. And now he could think.

‘It’s not safe inside,’ he thought. ‘I’ll stay in the street. Perhaps I can help the other men, and watch the building too.’

He went out of the flat, and shut the door behind him.

That day and the next day, Gabriel worked with the other men.

He couldn’t move the rubble, or pull people out of the ruins. But he could do other jobs.

The workers had to have food and drink. Gabriel found water and carried it to them. Then he looked for food. There was a shop at the end of the street. The windows and doors were broken. There was nobody there.

‘The manager’s dead,’ a man told him.

Gabriel climbed through the broken door into the shop. He took some food and carried it back to the workers. The child from the ruins of the next building was safe now. She was in a car, on her way to hospital. But the workers didn’t stop working.

Other people were under the rubble. Gabriel could hear their screams.

He saw a small boy in the street, two or three years old. The child cried for his mother.

‘She’s at the hospital,’ one of the workers said. ‘We pulled her out. We didn’t know about the child.’

Gabriel sat down next to the little boy and talked to him. He gave him some food and a drink of water. Slowly, the child stopped crying. Gabriel played with him for hours. Then his father came and took him away.

On the morning of the third day, firemen arrived.

For the first time, Gabriel stopped working. He couldn’t do anything now. He sat down in front of the Delgados’ door and fell asleep.

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