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دانلود اپلیکیشن «زیبوک»

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chapter two

Some Terrible Discoveries

Now everybody believed Cornelius. They began to ask him lots of questions. Cornelius smiled. He was very happy with his first success. At that moment, when everybody was asking Cornelius questions, Tobermory walked into the room. None of the guests said a word. They felt embarrassed in front of a talking cat.

Finally, the hostess - Lady Blemley - said nervously, ‘Would you like some milk, Tobermory?’

‘Yes, I’m a little thirsty,’ said the cat indifferently.

Everyone in the room was shocked. And Lady Blemley’s hand shook as she poured Tobermory some milk.

‘I’m sorry, but I’ve spilt most of the milk on the carpet,’ apologised Lady Blemley.

‘I don’t care,’ responded Tobermory, ‘it’s not my carpet.’

The room was silent for another minute. Then Miss Resker asked Tobermory if it was difficult to learn to speak. The cat looked at Miss Resker for a minute. Then he looked out the window. It was obvious that he considered Miss Resker’s question ridiculous.

‘What do you think of human intelligence?’ asked Mavis Pellington stupidly.

‘Human intelligence in general, or do you want to know about some particular person?’ asked Tobermory.

‘Uh… well… my intelligence. What do you think of my intelligence?’ asked Mavis with a nervous laugh.

‘Well, you put me in an embarrassing position,’ said Tobermory. But he did not look embarrassed. ‘Anyway, I’ll answer you. When Lady Blemley told Sir Wilfrid that she wanted to invite you to this party he said, ‘Mavis Pellington is the stupidest woman in the world. Why are you inviting her?’ Lady Blemley replied, ‘Sir Wilfrid, I am inviting her because she is stupid. I have this old car that I want to sell and Mavis Pellington is the only person stupid enough to buy it.’’

Lady Blemley, of course, said that Tobermory was a liar. But Mavis Pellington did not believe her: that morning she had bought Lady Blemley’s old car.

Major Barfield tried to change the subject.

He said, ‘Tobermory, do you want to tell us about your girlfriend, the striped cat that lives near the stable?’

Everyone immediately understood that he had made a terrible mistake.

‘It is not polite to ask people about their love affairs.’ replied Tobermory coldly. ‘Do you want me to talk about what I have seen during this party? I’m sure that you wouldn’t like that, would you?’ There was a moment of general panic. Almost all the guests had some private love affair. They all thought, ‘If Tobermory says what he has seen, I’ll be in trouble.’

Tobermory’s dinner was in two hours, but Lady Blemley said, ‘Tobermory, why don’t you ask the cook if your dinner is ready?’

‘Thanks,’ responded Tobermory, ‘but I have just had tea. I don’t want to die of indigestion.’

‘Cats have nine lives, Tobermory,’ said Sir Wilfrid, trying to be funny. ‘Possibly,’ was the answer, ‘but only one liver.’

‘Lady Blemley, are you going to permit this cat to talk about us with the servants?’ said Mrs Cornett, another guest.

The panic was general. Everyone remembered that Tobermory often walked outside their windows. It was obvious that he had seen and heard everything that happened in their bedrooms. Some guests became white with fear. Others, like Odo Finsberry, who was studying to be a minister of the Church, ran out of the room.

All the guests thought, ‘If Tobermory tells everything he knows, there will be terrible scandals.’

Finally, Agnes Resker said dramatically, ‘Why did I come to this house-party?’

Tobermory had the answer:

‘I know why you came. Yesterday you said to Mrs Cornett that Lady Blemley’s parties were very boring but the food was delicious. You told her that you came for the good food. In fact, you said that everyone came for the food.’

‘That is not true. You are a liar! Mrs Cornett, tell the truth. Did I say that? Tell the…’

‘Then Mrs Cornett told Bertie van Tahnn what you said,’ continued Tobermory, ‘and he said that Agnes Resker went anywhere she could get free food, and then…’

Fortunately for the guests, at that moment Tobermory stopped his story. He had seen his enemy, a big yellow tomcat. He jumped out the window, and ran after it.

All the guests looked at Cornelius angrily. He had caused all this trouble.

‘Do you think Tobermory will teach other cats to talk?’ they asked Cornelius.

‘It’s possible,’ replied Cornelius. ‘Maybe he has taught his girlfriend, the cat that lives in the stables. But I don’t think he has taught any other cats. At least, not yet.’

‘Lady Blemley,’ said Mrs Cornett, ‘I know that you and your husband like Tobermory very much, but he and his friend the stable cat must be killed.’

‘I have not enjoyed this last half hour either,’ said Lady Blemley. ‘Yes, it is true that my husband and I like Tobermory very much. Well, we liked him before he learned to talk, and tell our secrets. Anyway, I agree that he must be killed as soon as possible.’

‘We can put poison in his food,’ said Sir Wilfrid, ‘and I will go and drown the stable cat.’

‘What about my great discovery?’ Cornelius said with great emotion. ‘I have worked for many years!’

‘Why don’t you go to the zoo,’ said Mrs Cornett, ‘and teach the elephants to talk. Elephants are very intelligent animals, but they do not hide under your chair and they do not sit outside your bedroom window!’

Cornelius tried to persuade them not to kill Tobermory and destroy all his scientific work. No one listened to him. In fact, many of the guests thought that poison should be put in Cornelius’s food.

That night at dinner all the guests were quiet. Lady Blemley tried to create conversation. But no one talked. They were all watching Tobermory’s bowl. Inside the bowl was some delicious meat and poison. But Tobermory still did not come back.

After dinner, still no Tobermory. The servants came and announced that the window of the kitchen was open as usual for Tobermory. Nine o’clock, no Tobermory. Ten o’clock, no Tobermory. At eleven o’clock one of the guests got up to go to bed. Before leaving the room he said, ‘Tobermory probably went to the local newspaper to tell everything he has seen and heard during this house-party. Good night!’

It was not a good night.

The next morning all the guests asked the servants the same question, and the servants gave the guests the same answer: ‘No, Tobermory has not returned.’

Breakfast was even more depressing than dinner the night before. But, before it was over, the gardener walked into the room with Tobermory’s dead body.

‘His enemy, the big tomcat, killed him,’ explained the gardener.

Tobermory was Cornelius Appin’s first and only successful student. A few weeks later Lady Blemley read in the newspaper that an elephant in the Dresden Zoological Garden had killed an Englishman. The newspaper said that the elephant was usually gentle and calm, but that the Englishman had apparently provoked it. The name of the Englishman was C. Appin.’

As one of Lady Blemley’s guests said, ‘If he was trying to teach that elephant German irregular verbs, he deserved to die.’

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