فصل 05

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کتاب های ساده

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فصل 05

توضیح مختصر

  • زمان مطالعه 4 دقیقه
  • سطح خیلی سخت

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CHAPTER FIVE

Coronation of a King

It was now six o’clock in the morning. I dressed in one of Prince Rudolf’s uniforms. Colonel Sapt, Fritz and I took our horses and rode towards Strelsau.

It was a beautiful ride that early morning, and I will never forget it. The Colonel gave me advice about how to behave when we reached Strelsau. He told me about the things that Prince Rudolf liked, and the things he did not like.

‘Don’t worry,’ he said. I’ll stand next to you all the time. I’ll tell you what to say.’

We reached the railway station at eight o’clock. At nine - thirty we were in the capital city.

‘Are you frightened?’ Colonel Sapt asked me.

‘Don’t worry about me,’ I told him. I’ll manage.’

‘I think you will,’ the Colonel replied. ‘You’re a real Elphberg, Mr. Rassendyll.’

When we got off the train, the people surrounded us. They were excited to see their Prince in front of them. They began to cheer and shout. Soon the station was full of noise and shouting. A party of important people were waiting for us. The commander of the Ruritanian army, an important-looking marshal, was also there with some soldiers. We all rode towards the cathedral together.

First we rode through the new part of Strelsau. The Colonel told me that the people in this part of the city were loyal to Prince Rudolf. They wanted him to be king. The crowds in the street cheered as we rode past. Suddenly I looked up at one of the buildings. Antoinette De Mauban was standing in the window watching the procession. For a moment I was very nervous. I was sure she would recognize me and tell everyone that I was not the real Prince. She did not do anything, however.

Then we rode through the old part of the city. The people in this part of Strelsau did not like Prince Rudolf. They wanted his brother, the Duke of Strelsau, to be king. The marshal made a sign to the soldiers who were riding with us. He wanted them to stay close to me. He wanted them to protect me from the crowd.

I decided that a real prince would be a brave man.

‘Why did you tell the soldiers to ride close to me?’ I asked the marshal.

‘For your safety, sir,’ the marshal replied.

I’m not afraid,’ I told the marshal. ‘I’ll ride in front of the soldiers. I’m not afraid of my own people!’

Colonel Sapt put a hand on my arm. He did not like what I was doing.

‘I’ll ride in front,’ I repeated. ‘Tell the soldiers to go away, marshal.’

I rode out in front of the soldiers. For a few moments I felt like a real king. It was a wonderful feeling.

Soon we arrived at the cathedral. It was a splendid building, and it was full of people. Everyone was wearing their best clothes for the coronation of their king. I do not remember much about the ceremony. It was long, and Colonel Sapt stood very close to me throughout it. He whispered to me all the time, telling me what to do.

I saw Prince Rudolf’s brother, the Duke of Strelsau, in the cathedral. He was very surprised to see me - he looked quite ill for a moment! He looked at me as if he had seen a ghost. I also saw a beautiful young woman. Colonel Sapt told me she was Princess Flavia. She was the most beautiful woman I had ever seen. She had the red hair of the Elphbergs.

The coronation was a great success. No one recognized that I was not the real Prince Rudolf. When it was over Fritz, Colonel Sapt and I went to the palace. We laughed and joked together. The day had gone well for us.

I did think about the real Prince Rudolf - or King Rudolf, as he now was. I wondered what he was doing.

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