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دانلود اپلیکیشن «زیبوک»

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متن انگلیسی فصل

The Open Window

chapter one

A Nervous Man

Framton Nuttel was very tired and nervous. The doctors told him he needed a rest and said he should go somewhere peaceful. So he decided to spend some time in the country.

‘I know what you are like, Framton,’ his sister said. ‘When you go to the country, you will stay all alone. That’s not good for you. You should not stay all alone. You should meet some nice people. I was in that part of the country four years ago. I met some nice people. I will write you some letters of introduction, and you can meet them.’

‘I am not sure that is a good idea,’ objected Framton. ‘Maybe I shouldn’t. After all, I don’t know any of those people.’

‘Take my advice,’ replied Framton’s sister. ‘It will be good for you.’

So Framton went to the country with his sister’s letters of introduction. The first person he visited was Mrs Sappleton. He knocked at the door of Mrs Sappleton’s house and a young girl about fifteen years old opened the door. It was Mrs Sappleton’s niece. Her name was Vera.

‘My aunt will be down in a moment, Mr Nuttel,’ said the girl, who looked very mature and intelligent. ‘While you are waiting, I will try to entertain you. I hope you don’t mind.’

‘Oh, I will be happy to talk with you,’ replied Framton. He did not want to offend the girl. But he wondered if going to meet new people was really good for his health. In fact, he felt quite nervous, and he hoped that Mrs Sappleton was nice.

‘Do you know many of the people round here?’ asked Mrs Sappleton’s niece after a few minutes of silence.

‘No,’ replied Framton, ‘I don’t know anybody around here. My sister stayed here four years ago and she gave me some letters of introduction to some of the people here.’

Framton felt more and more nervous, and he was more and more convinced that it was a bad idea. He needed rest, not new friends.

‘Then you know practically nothing about my aunt?’ continued the confident young lady.

‘I know only her name and address,’ admitted Framton. He was wondering whether Mrs Sappleton’s husband was alive or dead. Looking at the room, he thought that a man must live there.

‘My aunt’s great tragedy happened exactly three years ago,’ said the girl. ‘That was after your sister was here.’

‘Your aunt’s tragedy?’ asked Framton. He thought the country was very peaceful. He could not imagine a tragedy there.

‘You probably wonder why we keep that window open on a cool October evening,’ said Vera. In fact, behind Framton’s chair there was a large French window that opened on to a lawn.

‘It is very warm for this time of the year.’ said Framton. ‘But is that window connected with the tragedy?’

‘Exactly three years ago my aunt’s husband and her two younger brothers went out through that window. They were going hunting. They never came back. While they were going to their favourite hunting spot, they fell into a bog. That particular summer it rained a lot. The bog was normally safe, but after the rain it became very dangerous. Their bodies were never found. That is the most horrible part of the story.’

Until this moment, the young girl had seemed very calm. Now she seemed a little frightened and her voice trembled as she continued the story.

‘My poor aunt thinks that her dead husband and brothers will return some day, together with the dog that went with them. She thinks that they will walk into the house through that French window as they always did before they died. That is why that window behind you is kept open until dark. My poor aunt! She has often told me every detail of that terrible day! Her husband carried a white raincoat over his arm. Her youngest brother was singing the song ‘Bertie, why do you bound?’ He sang this song to make fun of her. Sometimes, Mr Nuttel, I have the strange feeling that they will return, that they will walk in through that window. It’s horrible, really horrible!’

She stopped telling him her sad story. Framton was happy when the aunt came back into the room.

‘I hope my niece is entertaining you, Mr Nuttel,’ Mrs Sappleton said.

‘She is very interesting,’ said Framton nervously.

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