آملیای جوان

مجموعه: کتاب های متوسط / کتاب: The Count of Monte Cristo / درس 12

آملیای جوان

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  • زمان مطالعه 9 دقیقه
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متن انگلیسی درس

Chapter 12 The Young Amelia

Dantes was wise. He kept his mouth shut after that first cry of surprise. In his right hand he still held the knife. He quickly cut open the bag, got one arm out and then his body. The stone pulled him down and down, and he felt very weak. But he reached down and cut the stone free. Then he swam quickly to the top of the water, and the stone fell to the bottom of the sea.

Dantes felt the night air on his face. He began to swim under the water because he did not want the guards to see him.

When he came up again, he was nearly a hundred metres from the prison. Above him, he saw a black and stormy sky. In front of him lay the great black sea. Behind him, blacker than the sea, blacker than the clouds, stood the Chateau d’If. It was a large and terrible place. The rocks around it seemed to reach out to take him back. And on the highest rock there were two men holding a lamp.

‘They are looking at the sea,’ Dantes thought. ‘Perhaps they heard me shout.’ He went down again under the water and stayed there for a long time.

When he came up again, he could not see the light. He began to swim out to sea. He swam for hours; he was trying to reach an island.

‘In two or three hours,’ he thought, ‘the guard will go into my room. He will find the body of my poor friend. He will look for me and not find me, and then he will call for help. The soldiers will discover the underground path. They will question the men who threw me into the sea. They will send boats of soldiers to find the escaped prisoner. Everyone will search for a hungry man without clothes. Soldiers will look for me in Marseilles, and the governor and his men will search for me on the sea. I am cold. I am hungry. I have lost my knife. Oh, my God! Help me — oh, help me!’

After Dantes said this prayer, he looked towards the Chateau d’If. He saw a small ship, coming out from Marseilles. It was moving quickly out to sea.

It came near him. He shouted and waved his hand. The ship turned towards him, and let down a boat.

There were two men in the boat. Dantes began to swim to it, but he was too weak. He gave a cry, and one of the men in the boat shouted, ‘Be strong! We are coming!’

Dantes heard their words. A wave passed over him. He came up to the top of the water, and then he went down again. The water closed over his head. ‘I am dying!’ he thought. Then someone caught him by the hair and pulled him up. After that, he heard and saw nothing.

When Dantes opened his eyes, he was on board the ship.

‘Where are we going?’ he thought. He looked out through a small window. ‘We are leaving the Chateau d’If behind!’

The captain came to see him.

‘I am a seaman, and I lost my ship in the storm,’ Dantes told him.

‘You can stay on my ship,’ the captain said. ‘But you will have to work.’ Suddenly, a loud noise rang across the waters. ‘Hey!

What is that?’ cried the captain.

‘A prisoner has escaped from the Chateau d’If,’ replied Dantes.

‘Is he the escaped prisoner?’ the captain thought. He looked at Dantes. ‘Does it matter? Even if it is him, he will be useful to us.’

The ship was called the Young Amelia. It carried goods to quiet shores on dark nights. There were no customs officers in these places, so the captain did not pay money to the government for the goods.

At first the captain did not tell Dantes about his business. ‘I do not know this man,’ he thought. ‘Perhaps he is a government officer.’But after some days, he started to like Dantes.

The ship reached Livorno. Edmond asked a man there to shave him and cut his hair. When the job was finished, he asked for a mirror. He saw the changes in his face.

’ When I went to the Chateau d’If, my face was round and open. It was the face of a young and happy man,’ he said to himself. Now his face was longer. His mouth was harder and stronger. His eyes were deep and thoughtful, and his skin was whiter. Even his voice was softer and sadder.

‘I don’t know myself,’ he thought. ‘I am a stranger.’

Next, he went to buy some clothes. Then, a changed man, he went back on board the Young Amelia.

The men of the Young Amelia worked hard for their captain.

They spent very little time in Livorno. The captain wanted to get the goods out of the city quickly, and to take them to Corsica.

They sailed away. Edmond was happy on the open sea. ‘I often dreamed about this in prison,’ he thought.

Early next morning, the captain found Dantes. The two men stood at the side of the ship, and looked at some great rocks. The sun shone in the sky and coloured the rocks a soft pink. It was the island of Monte Cristo.

‘I can jump over the side of the ship,’ Dantes thought, ‘and swim to the island in an hour. But if I do that, how will I get the treasure away ? I must wait. I waited for years to be free. I can wait for a few months to be rich.’ He looked again at the island.

‘Perhaps the treasure is only a dream, a dream of Faria’s. But there was Prince Spada’s letter. That seemed real.’ Dantes repeated the letter to himself from the beginning to the end; he remembered every word.

Night came, and Edmond watched the island. It was beautiful with the colours of the evening, then slowly it hid itself in the darkness.

‘How can I reach Monte Cristo and bring the treasure back safely? The treasure is mine. But I have no money for a small boat to get it.’

He thought about this problem all the time.

They returned from Corsica to Livorno. One evening, in Livorno, the captain asked Dantes to come to an important meeting.

Edmond went with the captain to see other ships’ captains. They talked about a ship from Turkey which was carrying expensive cloth. They wanted to find a quiet place and meet this ship, buy the cloth and then take it to the coast of France.

‘We need a quiet place where there are no customs officers,’

one man said. ‘A place where nobody will see us.’

‘The best place is the island of Monte Cristo,’ said the captain of the Young Amelia. ‘Nobody lives on the island, and no customs officers ever go there.’

They decided to sail to Monte Cristo the next night.

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