فصل 07

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فصل 07

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  • زمان مطالعه 7 دقیقه
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Chapter seven

Prisoners of the Apemen

I went back to our camp and tried to get some rest. It was horrible to try and sleep here, but it was safer than the jungle! The thought that I could die in this place made me very unhappy. The light from Zambo’s fire was the only hope of escape from this dangerous world.

The next morning Sir John woke me up.

‘Quick! Quick, young man!’ he said.

‘What? What is it?’ I cried.

‘Don’t stop to think or talk! Just get the rifles and some food!’ he responded.

In a moment we had everything and began running away. Finally, we found a place to hide and stopped to rest. I told him quickly about my adventures the night before.

‘But what happened to you?’ I asked him.

‘Well,’ he began, ‘early yesterday morning hundreds of apes started jumping down from the trees above us. They captured us all and took us to where they live. They tied Summerlee and me up. But strangely enough, Challenger looked a lot like the king of the apemen! They gave him special treatment. He stayed with the king and ate fruit. You see, this plateau is divided between the apemen and the Indians. The caves you saw with lights belong to the Indians. There’s a constant war between the two groups. In fact, yesterday, the apemen brought back twelve prisoners. They pulled the arms off of two of them and killed them. It was a horrible thing to see.

We also discovered that they have a special ceremony. They take their prisoners to the edge of the cliff and then they throw them off. That is what happened to James Clover, Maple White’s friend. Yesterday, they pushed four of the Indians off the cliffs.

Early this morning I escaped and went to our camp. There I got you and the guns, and here we are.’

After we rested and talked, we ran quickly to where the apemen lived.

We arrived and hid behind some trees. I saw something that I will never forget. There was an open area of grass near the edge of the cliffs. The small houses of the apemen were in the trees, and they were made of leaves.

In this area there were about one hundred apemen. In front of them there was a little group of Indians and Professor Summerlee.

Then I saw two other strange individuals. One of them was Professor Challenger, and the other was the king of the apemen. Both of them were short with big chests and large heads. They were both covered with hair. The big difference between the two was that the Professor’s hair was black and the king’s hair was red.

Then the apemen took one of the Indians and pushed him off the cliffs. They waited for their next victim.

This time it was Summerlee. Two of the apemen caught him by the arms. Challenger turned to the king. He tried to convince him not to kill Summerlee. The king pushed Challenger away and then, in that moment, Lord John shot him.

‘Shoot them! Shoot, young man, shoot!’ he cried.

Professor Challenger and I helped Summerlee to run away. Lord John continued to shoot the apemen. We ran and ran. Finally we arrived at our camp. We thought we were safe, but then we heard the sound of feet. Lord John went outside with his rifle and found the surviving Indians. They were very frightened. One of them, we thought, was their chief.

We could not stay in the camp. The apemen knew where it was. We left with the Indians and found another place to hide.

That night, before we slept, Professor Challenger came to me.

‘Mr Malone,’ he said very seriously, ‘you won’t write that I looked like the king of the apemen?’

‘Professor, I’ll only write the truth,’ I answered.

‘Very good,’ said Professor Challenger, and went to sleep.

The next morning we decided to go to the Indian caves. We left the forest and walked across an open area. When we arrived at the lake, our Indian friends began to shout with joy. A large number of canoes were coming towards us. When they arrived on land, an older Indian came and embraced the young chief. They had spears and bows and arrows. They were there to save their young chief from the apemen. Then the young chief began to talk to his men. He told them that now was the time to attack and defeat the apemen for the last time. They were all together and they had the help of these strange men with great magic - our rifles. We, too, decided to go with them the next day to fight the apemen.

That evening we made our camp by the lake. We saw many strange creatures in the water with long necks. One of them came out of the water onto the beach.

‘Plesiosaurus! It’s a plesiosaurus!’ cried Summerlee. ‘My dear Challenger, we’re the luckiest zoologists that have ever lived!’

Lord John was not interested in the wonderful animals. Again, he noticed the blue colour of the ground near some volcanic holes.

The next day more Indians came. Now there were about four or five hundred of them. We all went towards the forest to fight our war against the apemen.

Before we arrived, the apemen attacked us. In the open, it was easy to defeat them. When we went in the forest it was more difficult. But, with the help of the rifles, in the end the Indians won.

After the battle Challenger turned to us and said, ‘We’ve seen one of the typical great battles of history. What, my friends, is the victory of one nation over another nation? It’s not important. The result is always the same. The most important victories of human history were different. They were the victories of primitive man over tigers, of primitive man over apemen. Now the future on this plateau belongs to man.’

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