فصل 07

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فصل 07

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متن انگلیسی فصل

Chapter seven

Dr Benjamin Magorsky

They decided to go straight to the Doctor’s house and face him. For some reason, Rodolfo insisted on driving them there.

After a two-hour journey, they arrived at an iron gate leading into a large estate surrounded by a tall glass-topped wall. A well-kept drive led up to the Doctor’s house. On looking out of the window of the carriage, Ernest was surprised to see a large house with at least twenty rooms.

“Take a look at that, old boy. He’s not doing too badly for a country doctor. A house like that must be worth a fortune.”

The door was opened by a servant. After a long wait, the Doctor who was still an extremely handsome man, with long silver hair brushed back on both sides of his head, came into the room. Surprisingly, he spoke excellent English.

“I believe we’ve met before, gentlemen. Under less happy circumstances. You’re English, I believe.”

“Yes, Doctor, we’re doing a spot of investigating for the late Count.”

“They tell me you’ve been asking questions that have been upsetting some of the villagers.”

“Not at all, Doctor. People have been very happy to tell us all they know. It seems that these rumours about the Count having a taste for human blood are totally unfounded.”

“I don’t know who you’ve been talking to, gentlemen, but I can assure you that the Count was, and I believe, still is, a vampire. You forget, gentlemen. I was his doctor.”

“You say ‘still is’. Do you mean to say that you don’t believe that the Count is dead? Or do you believe in ghosts?”

“I believe he died, yes, but I also believe in his power to come back from the dead. In fact, I believe that vampires are humans who have died and come back to earth.”

“Very interesting, Doctor. But you say the Count was also a vampire in real life?”

“Yes, the Count had very rare powers. I once examined his teeth at some length, and…”

At that moment a shout was heard from the hall and all seven feet of Rodolfo came through the door into the sitting- room.

“That man is a liar. He is the vampire, not the Count. Tell them how you…”

The Doctor looked at Rodolfo with an ironic smile on his face.

“You can’t prove it. The Count never recognised you as his son.”

“Maybe not publicly, but I’m going to prove how you blackmailed the Count so you would keep his secret. You were the only person who knew about Radu.”

“Rubbish! Nonsense!”

“I can get all the villagers to say how you forced large sums of money out of them and threatened to kill them if they did not pay.”

The Doctor began to laugh hysterically.

“This man is mad, absolutely mad. He needs to be locked up. And if he doesn’t shut up soon, I shall call my men and have him taken away.”

During this confrontation, Ernest and Alfred just sat and watched, not knowing who was telling the truth. Suddenly, Rodolfo came towards the Doctor and took him by the shirt collar. He probably would have broken his neck if Alfred had not stopped him.

“Gentlemen, there’s no need to fight like animals. We’re all civilised here.”

“Civilised? This doctor is an animal. He has killed thousands by bleeding them to death.”

“Lies! Prove it, you monster.”

Suddenly Rodolfo calmed down.

“Yes, Doctor Lover. I will prove it.”

“You can prove nothing.”

“Yes, I can. Before the Count died he left me his diary, in which he wrote everything. When you killed the Countess with your so-called medicines and your bleeding, not one day went by that the Count did not write down everything. How you blackmailed him, how you got rich by threatening the poor and sick, how you used the vampire bat to do your dirty work for you, how everybody hates you and fears you!”

“No one would believe it. They all think the Count was the vampire. It’s his word against mine.”

“You know very well that if it’s a question of your word against his, the people will believe his. The people loved the Count and never really believed the rumours.”

Suddenly a fearful screeching was heard from the next room. Everybody except the Doctor froze.

“It’s nothing, gentlemen. It’s my falcon. He wishes to go hunting.”

As soon as Ernest heard the screech, he showed great excitement.

“Alfred old chap, this is the moment I’ve been waiting for.”

Ernest walked excitedly to the door and was about to open it when the Doctor shouted at him.

“Don’t open that door unless you want to die, Lord Ernest. I have specially trained them to go straight for the neck.”

“Doctor, you don’t think I would come all the way from England and not see the vampire bat in the light of day. After all I am a specialist.”

“I warned you.”

No sooner had Ernest opened the door than a loud flapping of wings and the screeching of a starving bat was heard, and an ugly creature with pointed wings and a squashed nose, with black hairs sticking out of it, flew wildly at Ernest. Alfred screamed and ran to fight off the vicious creature, but by the time he had reached his friend, the bat had already got its teeth in his neck. To Alfred’s surprise, Ernest just stood there while the creature got its fill from his neck. Alfred did not know what to do.

Soon, the bat drew out its teeth from Ernest’s neck and sat on his shoulder like a parrot or a tame bird.

“Do you know, Alfred, old boy, I think this is the most exciting moment of my life! How many people back in England can say that they came in such close contact with a Desmodus Rotondus?”

“But won’t it kill you, dear boy?”

“Good heavens, no! Of course, if I were one of the Doctor’s patients and it fed off me three times a day, I wouldn’t last long.”

The doctor stood in admiration listening to the man talking about his bats so casually.

“A beautiful creature, Doctor. But also a deadly one, if you let it be.”

“You have them well trained, Doctor. You don’t mind if I see the rest of the family?”

At that, Ernest went into the Doctor’s laboratory and looked up at the ceiling. Sure enough, hanging upside down on a wooden bar were four more vampire bats. Alfred, by now, had wrapped a scarf around his neck and was holding it tightly with both hands.

“How many people have you killed, Doctor, to keep your little family alive?”

“Yes, they are my family. I love them more than any human being because they love me with all their heart. They are faithful, not like women, who love you today and leave you tomorrow. All those people, they were going to die anyway. I couldn’t save them. Nobody could.”

“How can you be so sure, Doctor? I think we should let the police decide on that. Don’t you think, Alfred?”

“Absolutely, old chap. I suggest we go right now.”

At that, they turned and left the Doctor, who was shouting nonsense after them.

“You can’t do anything to me. They’re just peasants. They’re all afraid of me. I have all the power.”

As they reached the carriage, Ernest turned to the Doctor.

“Well, goodbye, Doctor. It was a pleasure. We shall meet again soon. Oh, and one more thing, you won’t need to feed one member of your family tonight.”

When they were in the carriage, Alfred felt a little better and let his hands go from his neck, but he seemed very concerned by the two pink spots on Ernest’s neck.

“Are you all right, old chap? Horrifying experience!”

“On the contrary, dear boy. It was like a gentle kiss. You should try it some time.”

“I think give it a miss, old fellow. stick to the female kind.”

“Now, what I’m worried about is what the Doctor will do to get his hands on the Count’s diary. He’ll stop at nothing. I’ll check my Derringer just in case. I think we’ll be needing it.”

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