ما درحال رفتنیم

مجموعه: کتاب های متوسط / کتاب: نشان قرمز شجاعت / درس 3

ما درحال رفتنیم

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  • زمان مطالعه 6 دقیقه
  • سطح متوسط

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Chapter 2 “We’re leaving!”

The next morning, the young soldier learned that the tall soldier was wrong. The army didn’t move the next day, or the next, but stayed in the camp. Henry had time to think. And he had time to worry.

He listened to his comrades talking excitedly about the battle.

“Aren’t they afraid?” he asked himself. “Maybe they’re braver than I am. Or maybe they’re just hiding their fear.” He began to feel angry with himself. He was also angry with the generals.

“Why don’t we move? What are they waiting for?” Then, early one morning, the young soldier woke up to the sound of loud voices: “Get up! We’re leaving!” It was still dark as he joined the other soldiers. They formed a line, carrying their rifles and equipment. They could see the red fires of the enemy camp across the river. They stood waiting for a long time.

Finally, an officer on horseback arrived with their orders. There was a loud shout:” Forward, march!” They heard the sound of marching feet as another regiment passed. They followed them into the dark in two long blue lines. They heard more men marching behind them. All that day, the army marched under a clear blue sky. They passed over hills and through woods.

The young soldier walked along, saying nothing. He looked around nervously. “What’s that noise?” he asked himself. “Is it gunfire? And is that smoke?”

He looked into the faces of his comrades. He was hoping to see fear and worry. To his surprise, they were excited and happy.

Some were discussing the army’s plans for them.

The tall soldier was speaking. “You see? We’re moving away from the river. We’re going to come in behind the enemy lines.” “He’s right!” said another man. “I had the same idea!” Other voices spoke. “Me too!”

Not everyone agreed. “You’re all crazy!” said a loud voice.

“You don’t know where we’re going!”

Other men were laughing and joking. Henry didn’t join in their conversations or their jokes. He felt sad and alone.

A fat soldier tried to steal a horse from a farmyard. He wanted it to carry his bag. He was escaping with his prize, when a young girl ran out from the farmhouse. She pulled the horse by the head and the fat soldier pulled on the other side.

The regiment stopped. They called to the young girl: “Hit him with a stick! “They laughed at the fat soldier as he returned to the line with his bag. They waved happily to the girl as they continued their march. They forgot the war for a few minutes.

In the evening, the line broke into regiments again. The regiments went into the fields to make camp. Soon there were tents and campfires on all sides.

The young soldier left his camp and walked into the quiet night. He lay down in the soft grass. He looked at the moon shining through the trees. He felt very lonely. “Why did I leave home?” he thought. He missed the farm. He thought about the fields and the house. “That’s where I belong. I’m not a soldier.

I’m not like the others.”

He heard a noise in the grass and saw the loud soldier.

“Wilson!” he called.

The loud soldier came near and looked down. “Hello, Henry. Is it you? What are you doing here?”

“Oh, just thinking,” replied the young soldier.

The other man sat down and lit his pipe. “You don’t look very happy,” he said. “What’s wrong?”

“Oh, nothing,” replied Henry.

The loud soldier started talking about the battle. “This time we’re really going to fight!” he said. His voice was happy and excited. “And we’re going to beat them! I’m sure we’re going to win!” He became more serious. “They’ve beaten us every time until now, but this time, we’ll win!”

“But you think this march is stupid, don’t you?” asked the young soldier.

“No” explained the other man. “I’m happy to march if we fight at the end. But I hate moving around for no reason. And we’re tired and the food is bad!”

“Jim says we’re going to fight this time,” said the young soldier.

“He’s right,” said the loud soldier. His voice grew excited again and he jumped to his feet. “And we’re going to win, I’m sure!” He spoke like an old soldier.

The young soldier looked at him coldly. “Oh. you’re going to do great things, I guess!”

“Oh, I don’t know. Hut I’ll fight as well as other men!” replied the loud soldier.

“How do you know that you won’t run away?” asked the young soldier.

“Run away? Me? Of course not!”

The young soldier continued,” But you’re not the bravest man in the world, are you?”

“I didn’t say that!” The loud soldier was angry. “And who are you? Why did you ask me a question like that?” He walked away, leaving Henry alone again.

Henry slowly returned to his tent and lay down next to the sleeping tall soldier. He stayed awake for a long time. He asked himself the same painful questions again and again: “Will I be brave? Or will I run away?” At last, he fell into a deep sleep.

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