- زمان مطالعه 11 دقیقه
- سطح ساده
دانلود اپلیکیشن «زیبوک»
این فصل را میتوانید به بهترین شکل و با امکانات عالی در اپلیکیشن «زیبوک» بخوانید
متن انگلیسی فصل
The Base Hospital
Patrick walked down the hospital hall with the help of Luis, his nurse. His skin was burned in four places, and his whole body ached. He stopped and looked out a window. Yes, he’d admitted that the money still existed. With electricity running through his body, he’d told them what happened to the money after he stole it. He couldn’t remember the last part of his torture. He’d been near death. He’d called her name, but was it to himself or aloud? Where was she now?
When they returned to his room, Luis closed the door and curtains and took out a camera. Luis had agreed to take the photos when Patrick offered him five hundred dollars.
“Start there,” Patrick told him, pointing to the bottom of the bed. “Get the whole body, including the face.” Luis did as he was told and worked quickly. When he finished, he took the film to a photo shop.
Sandy McDermott had read reports about the discovery of his law school friend with great interest. He was busy in his New Orleans office when his secretary announced that a woman from Brazil was waiting to see him.
“My name’s Leah,” she said quietly. “Patrick sent me.”
Sandy noticed that she didn’t smile and her eyes were tired. “Have you spoken to him since - “
“No. Not since he was taken. I want to hire you to be Patrick’s lawyer.”
“I’m available.” Sandy had a lot of questions, but he knew he couldn’t ask them now.
“You might be threatened by some very nasty people,” she told him.
“The people chasing Patrick.”
“I think they’ve caught him,” he said.
“Yes, but they don’t have the money.”
“I understand,” he said. So, the money hadn’t been spent; that wasn’t surprising. But how much was left? “Where is the money?” he asked.
“You can’t ask that question,” she said.
“What do you want me to do for him?”
“Everything. Patrick wants no other lawyer.”
“Then I’m hired. We’re old friends, you know.”
“Good. We can’t meet here again. There are people trying to find me because they think I can lead them to the money. So we’ll meet in other places.” Leah looked at her watch. “There’s a flight to Miami in three hours. We can talk on the plane.”
“Where are we going?”
“You’ll go to San Juan to see Patrick. I’ll go another direction.”
On the plane Sandy and Leah didn’t talk much. Just before landing in Miami, she said, “I won’t see you again for a few days. I have to keep moving. Patrick will give you instructions, and he and I will communicate through you. Be careful. When people learn that you’re his lawyer, you’ll attract the attention of the people who are looking for me.”
“Who are they?” he asked.
“Patrick will tell you.”
“You have the money, don’t you?”
“I can’t answer that question.”
When they landed, she shook his hand and said, “Tell Patrick I’m fine.” Then she disappeared into the crowd.
When he landed in San Juan, Sandy went to the Navy base to visit Patrick. The two old friends hadn’t seen each other for six years. Patrick sat in his bed in the dark room. He kept a sheet over his body. Sandy studied his face. It was thin, and the chin and nose were different. He looked like someone else. But his eyes and voice were the same.
“Thanks for coming,” Patrick said.
“Sure,” Sandy replied. “She said to tell you she’s fine,” he added. Patrick closed his eyes and said a prayer of thanks. Then he was silent. Sandy sat and waited for his friend. He was alive, and right now nothing else mattered.
After a time, Sandy wanted to talk. “A lot of people are waiting for you back in Biloxi,” he said. “Trudy filed for divorce two days ago. The grand jury has indicted you for capital murder.”
“I know,” said Patrick. “CNN has kept me informed.”
Sandy paused and then asked, “When do you want to talk?”
Patrick rolled to his side and looked at the wall. “They tortured me, Sandy,” he said quietly. “They taped wires to my body and gave me electric shocks until I talked. Here, look.” He lifted his left arm so Sandy could inspect the burn marks. “They kept asking about the money. I’m afraid I told them about the girl, Sandy.”
“The lawyer? Leah?”
“Yes, I’m almost certain I told them about Leah.”
“Told who, Patrick?” Sandy asked.
Patrick closed his eyes as pain returned to his legs. He gently rolled over onto his back again and pulled the sheet down to his waist. “Look, Sandy,” he said, pointing to two bad burns on his chest. “Here’s the proof.”
Sandy turned on a table lamp, leaned closer, and looked. “Who did this?” he asked again.
“I don’t know. A bunch of people.” Patrick felt sorry for his friend. Sandy wanted to know what had happened - about the torture and about what had happened four years ago. It was a wonderful story, but he wasn’t sure how much he could tell. No one knew the details of the car crash. But he could tell his lawyer about his capture and torture. He said, “Sit closer and turn off that lamp. The light bothers me.” Then he told the story of his kidnapping.
At six o’clock the next morning, Patrick’s doctor entered his room. He checked his wounds and said, “You’re ready to go. They have good doctors waiting for you where you’re going.” Then he left.
Thirty minutes later, Agent Brent Myers from the Biloxi office walked in. “Good morning, Patrick. I just talked to your doctor. You’re going home tomorrow, and I’ve got orders to take you back. We’ll leave in the morning on a special Air Force plane to Biloxi. See you early in the morning.” Myers left.
Next, Luis arrived with coffee and fruit. He put a package under Patrick’s sheet and asked if he needed anything else.
“No,” Patrick said, thanking him softly.
An hour later, Sandy arrived.
“I want you to go home immediately,” Patrick said. “And take this with you.” He handed Sandy the package.
Sandy sat down, opened it, and looked through the photos. “Who did this to you?” he asked.
“Whose prisoner am I?”
“So, I think the FBI did it to me. My own government found me, caught me, tortured me, and is now taking me back. Look at what they’ve done to me.”
“You should sue them for this,” Sandy said.
“For millions. And quickly. Here’s the plan: I’m leaving for Biloxi in the morning. We should file our lawsuit late this afternoon so it’ll be in the paper tomorrow. Tell the press. I’ve marked two photos. Give them to the reporters for the Coast paper - the one that’s read by the people who will be on my jury. People will feel sorry for me - an American citizen tortured by the FBI.”
Sandy studied Patrick’s face. “It wasn’t really the FBI, was it?” he asked.
“No,” Patrick said, “it wasn’t. I was delivered to the FBI by some people whose names I don’t know. They’d been chasing me for a long time. And they’re still waiting out there somewhere.”
“Does the FBI know about them?”
“Yes,” Patrick said. He paused. “Be careful. I’ve hidden a lot of money, Sandy. There are people who’ll do anything to find it.”
“How much of the money is left?” Sandy asked.
“All of it. And more.”
“We may need it to save you,” Sandy said.
“I have a plan.”
“I’m sure you do. See you in Biloxi.”
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