فصل 08

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کتاب های ساده

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فصل 08

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  • زمان مطالعه 8 دقیقه
  • سطح خیلی ساده

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Chapter eight

Sounds in the Night

Next day, the weather was good. At nine o’clock, Mr Bentley phoned from London.

‘I’ve received your letter,’ he said. ‘You can stay for a few days. Send me any papers that look important. Leave the other papers in the house. Don’t stay too long!’

‘I’ll finish the work as quickly as I can,’ I answered. ‘It’s a strange old house,’ I added.

‘Mrs Drablow was a strange old woman,’ Mr Bentley said. And he put the phone down.

By nine thirty, I was ready. There was a basket on the front of the bicycle. I put everything in the basket. I cycled off happily. The little dog, Spider, ran along behind me.

The tide was coming in. Very soon it would cover the causeway. But that did not worry me. The air was clear. The sun was shining on the water. Sea-birds were flying and calling over the estuary.

I was soon at Eel Marsh House. I opened the windows. I lit fires in several rooms. Then I sat down at a big desk. The desk was in front of a window. I could see the sky, the marshes and the water.

I started work. The desk was full of papers. Most of them I threw away. But I kept a few to look at later.

I opened a cupboard and then another. Papers, more and more papers. I looked at everything carefully.

I worked hard all the morning. At two o’clock, I had some lunch. Then I called Spider and we went outside. I walked down to the old graveyard. Spider ran up and down. She was happy too.

I tried to read the words on the gravestones. But they were too old. Most of the words were difficult to read. The writing on one stone was a little clearer. Some letters were worn away. But I could read most of the words.

Two people were buried here. I wondered who they had been.

I looked around me. It was a sad place. But I did not feel afraid.

The air was colder now. I went back to the house and Spider followed me. I was soon back at my desk again. I read paper after paper. But there was nothing important. I made myself a cup of tea. I went on working.

When it was dark, I closed the curtains. I turned on every light in the house. I put more coal on the fire.

I brought papers from other rooms. Papers, so many papers. Mrs Drablow had thrown nothing away in sixty years!

It was getting late, but I went on working. I’ll be finished in a day and a half, I thought to myself. Then I’ll return to London and my dear Stella.

At last, I was too tired to go on. I took a book to read in bed. Then, taking Spider with me, I went upstairs. I was going to sleep in a bedroom at the back of the house. I read for about half an hour. Then I turned out the light. Spider was already asleep, near the bed.

Sometime later, I woke up. The moonlight was shining into the room. Why was I awake? What had happened? I sat up.

And then I saw Spider. The little dog was standing at the door. She was staring at the door, listening.

The little dog was terrified. And so was I. I listened too.

Yes, I could hear something. The sound came from somewhere inside the house. Bump. Bump. Bump. What was it?

Spider looked at me, growled and listened again. I got slowly out of bed. My heart was beating fast I opened the bedroom door. The passage outside was dark and empty.

Spider ran down the passage. I heard her sniffing at every closed door.

I heard the sound again. Bump. Bump. Bump. It came from a passage on the left. Very slowly, I began to walk towards the sound.

I opened the doors, one by one. Every room was dark and silent.

There was a door at the end of the passage. Spider sniffed under this door. Her growling became louder.

It was the door I had found locked on my first visit to the house. It was the only door I could not open. Yes, the sound came from behind this door. Bump. Bump. Bump.

I had heard this sound long ago. I had heard it when I was a child. What was it?

Spider howled. The frightened little dog pressed against my legs. We were both shaking with fear. And still the sound went on. Bump. Bump. Bump.

I heard another sound. It came from behind me. It came from the front of the house.

The bumping noise stopped. I turned away from the locked door. Slowly and carefully, I walked back to my bedroom.

Everything was quiet. The second sound had come from inside the house. I was sure of that I looked round the room. Perhaps the sound had come from outside? I looked out of the window. I saw nothing, no one. The marshes were silver and grey in the moonlight. Did I hear a cry? I listened again. No.

I felt something warm against my leg. I bent down to stroke the little dog. She was quiet again.

I listened. Everything was quiet. The house and the marshes were completely silent.

After a time, I went back to the closed door. I turned the handle. The door did not open. I pushed my shoulder against the door. It did not move. There was no keyhole in the door. I could not see into the room.

I went back to bed. But it was a long time before I felt asleep.

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