فصل 11

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کتاب های ساده

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فصل 11

توضیح مختصر

  • زمان مطالعه 10 دقیقه
  • سطح خیلی ساده

دانلود اپلیکیشن «زیبوک»

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متن انگلیسی فصل

CHAPTER ELEVEN

Coming Home

“They can’t be alive now,” Jim Hunter told his family sadly. “But I hope their incredible journey ended quickly and without pain.”

In the following week Longridge’s telephone never stopped ringing. Some of the news was difficult to believe. Some of it was hopeful. Longridge listened to it all patiently.

“Every man, woman, or child has seen a cat or dog on the road,” said Longridge, exhausted, on the phone to Jim Hunter. “And they’re all ringing to tell us!”

“Yes, but they’re all trying to be helpful and kind,” said Jim Hunter. “And some of them really did see our dear pets.”

“We know from these phone calls that I was right,” Longridge said to his friend. “The animals are traveling west along the line of my map. The little girl, Helvi Nurmi, looked after Tao for a short time. And a man saw two dogs in the Ironmouth mountains. And a farmer saw an old white dog who was stealing one of his chickens!”

Peter smiled for the first time when he heard this. He could see Bodger enjoying himself in a fight. But he knew that his old dog was really dead. And Luath.

Elizabeth was different from her brother. She was sure that Tao was alive. “He’ll come home soon,” she told her family. “I don’t believe that he’s dead. You’ll see.”

But only Elizabeth was hopeful. Longridge and the rest of the Hunter family looked at the map: the animals were in wild, lonely country.

“They can’t be alive now,” Jim Hunter told his family sadly. “But I hope their incredible journey ended quickly and without pain.”

Some weeks later, Longridge visited the Hunters again. People continued to ring about the animals, but there was no good news. It was Peter’s twelfth birthday the following Sunday.

“Let’s all go to Lake Windigo for a short vacation,” Longridge suggested to the family.

“But maybe Tao will come back when we’re away,” said Elizabeth.

Longridge showed her Lake Windigo on the map. “It’s on the line I drew,” he told her.

Elizabeth agreed, full of hope. So they left for Lake Windigo to stay in the Hunters’ small cabin there. It was almost winter and the lake was cold. There were no boats and all the other cabins were empty. Peter had a new camera and he went into the woods for hours with it. Elizabeth played in a treehouse near the lake.

On the last afternoon, the Sunday of Peter’s birthday, they decided to go for a long walk. It was a beautiful, clear day and they walked in friendly silence. Each person was quietly thinking to himself. Jim Hunter missed his dog. He remembered walking with Luath on other fall days, gun in hand. And he remembered hunting with Luath on lakes, waiting patiently for hours in boats with him.

Peter remembered his last birthday as he walked up the hill. “Do you remember Bodger last year, Dad?” he asked his father. “I tried to teach him to hunt, but he didn’t enjoy it. He soon got bored, poor old Bodger.”

Peter suddenly felt very lonely and started crying quietly. But he didn’t want his family to see, so he quickly picked up his camera.

They sat for a long time on the rocks at the top of the hill. It was very quiet. A bird sang and another bird ate some of their cookies. Everyone was silent and busy with their thoughts.

Suddenly, Elizabeth stood up.

“Listen!” she said. “Listen, Daddy! There’s a dog barking!”

Everyone listened, but no one heard anything.

“You’re imagining things,” said her mother. “Or maybe it was another animal. We must go back now.”

“Wait, wait! You’ll hear it in a minute, too,” said Elizabeth quietly.

Her mother remembered that the child’s hearing was still very good. She could hear noises that were lost to adults forever. And now even to Peter. So she stayed silent.

Elizabeth’s excited, listening face changed to a huge smile. “It’s Luath!” she said. “I know that bark!”

“Don’t do this, Liz,” said her father. “It’s…”

Now Peter thought he heard something, too. “Shhh!” he said to his father.

There was silence again as everyone listened hard. Jim Hunter felt strangely nervous. He got up and hurried down the hill with Peter behind him.

Then they both heard the bark. They stood there in the quiet afternoon, waiting to welcome an exhausted traveler. They didn’t have to wait long.

A small body with a chocolate-colored tail came running through the trees on the high hillside. With a welcoming cry the Siamese jumped down the last two meters and landed at their feet. Elizabeth was smiling all over her face now. She got down on her knees and picked up the excited cat.

“Oh, Tao!” she said softly as she took him in her arms. He put his brown paws lovingly around her neck. “Tao!” she said again, kissing him. And Tao tightened his paws around her neck.

A second later, the Labrador arrived. He was much thinner and weaker than before, a shadow of the beautiful dog Longridge knew. He made excited noises as he jumped up to his master. When Longridge saw his friend Jim’s face, he had to turn away.

Minutes passed. Everyone started talking excitedly at the same time. Luath barked and barked. He was shaking all over his body, and his eyes never left his master’s face. The cat, on Elizabeth’s shoulder, joined in with loud cries.

Everyone laughed, talked, or cried at the same time. There was a lot of noise in the quiet wood!

Then, suddenly, there was silence. Everybody was thinking the same thought. No one looked at Peter. When Luath ran to him, he turned away.

“I’m glad he’s back, Dad,” he said. “And your Tao, too!” he added to Elizabeth, with a difficult smile.

Elizabeth, usually the happy one, started to cry. Peter touched Tao behind the ears.

“You go back to the cabin,” he said to his family. “I want to go up the hill to take a photo…”

“Shall I come too, Peter?” Longridge asked. And, to his surprise, the boy accepted his offer.

They watched the rest of the family walking down the hill. Tao lay in Elizabeths arms and Luath walked close behind his master. Peter and Longridge returned to the top of the hill to take some photos. And all the time they talked. About everything, but not about dogs.

At last Longridge looked at his watch. It was time to go. He looked at Peter. “Let’s…” he started to say. But he stopped when he saw the boy’s excited face.

Down below, out of the darkness of the woods and into the light of the sun, came Bodger! Thin and tired, hopeful, happy’and hungry. Bodger, the dear old terrier, was coming as fast as he could!

He started to run, faster and faster, and threw himself at Peter. John Longridge turned away then and left them in the private world of boy and dog. He started walking toward the lake when he suddenly saw a small animal in front of him. It ran past his legs and its long tail disappeared up the hill in a second.

It was Tao, returning for his old friend. They were ending their incredible journey together.

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