- زمان مطالعه 7 دقیقه
- سطح متوسط
دانلود اپلیکیشن «زیبوک»
این فصل را میتوانید به بهترین شکل و با امکانات عالی در اپلیکیشن «زیبوک» بخوانید
متن انگلیسی فصل
The Journey to Ruritania
I decided to stay in Paris for a night on my way to Ruritania. Paris is a lively city, and I enjoyed myself a lot. I spent the evening with two friends. One of them, George, worked in the British Embassy.
We were three young men, and we talked about the beautiful women in Paris. Somebody mentioned Antoinette De Mauban.
‘I’ve heard of her,’ I said excitedly. ‘She’s a famous beauty. What does she look like?’
‘She’s the most wonderful woman in Paris,’ George told me. ‘You won’t see her, I’m afraid,’ he added. ‘She’s leaving Paris tonight.’
He spoke quietly now.
‘The Duke of Strelsau visited here in Paris,’ he said.
‘Really,’ I replied. ‘I wonder I where she’s going.’
I knew that the Duke of Strelsau was the half-brother of Prince Rudolf of Ruritania. Perhaps Antoinette De Mauban was going to Ruritania as well!
George went to the railway station with me the next day. I did not tell him I was travelling to Ruritania because I did not want anyone to know. I told him I was going to Dresden.
There was a smartly dressed lady on the platform when we arrived.
‘Excuse me, Rudolf,’ he said. ‘I know that lady. I’ll just go and say hello to her. I won’t be long.’
He went to talk to the lady. He was smiling when he came back.
‘You’re in luck!’ he joked. ‘That’s Antoinette De Mauban, and she’s travelling on your train. She’s going to Dresden as well.’
I did not see Antoinette De Mauban again until the train arrived at Dresden. I got off the train there because I wanted to take the train for Ruritania. Then I saw her! Antoinette De Mauban got on the same train as me. She was travelling to Ruritania as well. Perhaps she was going to visit the Duke of Strelsau.
As soon as we reached the Ruritanian border, I went to buy some newspapers and the officer in charge of the customs house gave me such a stare that I was surer than ever of my resemblance to the Elphbergs.The train journey to Ruritania was a long one. I read some of the Ruritanian newspapers during the journey.
There were lots of articles about Prince Rudolf and the coronation. The capital city, Strelsau, was full of people who wanted to see the ceremony. I did not want to stay in a crowded hotel, so I decided not to go to Strelsau. There is a little town called Zenda about fifty miles from the capital. I decided to stay there until the day of the coronation.’I can travel into Strelsau every day on the train,’ I said to myself, i can come back to Zenda every night. It’s not very far.’
I got off the train at Zenda. There was a good hotel in the town. I was comfortable there.
There was a lot of excitement in Zenda because of the coronation. Everybody was talking about Prince Rudolf and his half-brother, the Duke of Strelsau. I learned that the Duke owned the castle in Zenda.
Everybody spoke very well about the Duke. They made less friendly remarks about Prince Rudolf. He had spent a long time away from the country, and very few people even knew what he looked like. I heard that he had also shaved off his famous beard which made it even more difficult for people to recognize him.
The old lady who owned the hotel was excited about the coronation like everybody else.
‘Prince Rudolf is here in Zenda!’ she told me. ‘He’s staying near the castle. He’ll travel from Zenda to Strelsau on the day of the coronation.
Suddenly she looked very serious.
‘It’s a pity,’ she told me. ‘The Duke’s a good man - he’d be a very good king for Ruritania. Prince Rudolf’s’
-‘Mother!’ one of the old lady’s daughters cried. She was angry. ‘The Duke’s a bad man, you know that. I want Prince Rudolf to be king. He’s a real Elphberg, with red hair and a long nose.’
‘Are the Prince and the Duke good friends?’ I asked the old lady.
‘No,’ the old lady’s daughter said. ‘They hate each other really. They’re both in love with the same girl, Princess Flavia.’
‘Be quiet!’ the old lady commanded her. She turned to me with a smile.
‘You mustn’t take what she says seriously, sir,’ she told me. ‘The Duke and the Prince are the best of friends. The Duke is helping the Prince to prepare for the coronation.’
‘You know that’s not true!’ the old lady’s daughter interrupted once again. ‘The Duke hates Prince Rudolf. Black Michael -‘
The door of the room opened and a man came in. He looked very angrily at the girl.
‘I’ve told you before not to call him ‘Black Michael’,’ he shouted angrily. ‘He’s the Duke of Strelsau!’
The man saw me in the room now and he was suddenly silent. He seemed shocked for a moment. The old lady explained who I was.
‘This is Mr. Rassendyll,’ she said. ‘He’s come from England to see the Prince’s coronation.’
She turned politely to me.
‘This is Johann,’ she said. ‘Fie works for the Duke of Strelsau.’
The man was still silent. He stared at me in a very strange way. I did not understand what was troubling him.
The girl began to laugh.
‘You’ve got red hair, sir,’ she said to me. ‘He doesn’t like red hair. It’s the Prince’s colour, you see.’
The man laughed.
‘I’m sorry, sir,’ he said. ‘You look -‘
He was silent again and then he said, ‘You surprised me. I didn’t know anyone was staying in the hotel.’
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