فصل 11

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فصل 11

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متن انگلیسی فصل

Chapter ELEVEN

Amelia Makes a Sacrifice

Becky was now back in London preparing Sir Pitt Crawley’s house for his return there. Sir Pitt knew that Rawdon and Becky were very poor. He was very fond of money, however, and did not offer his brother any.

Little Rawdon thought his mother was the most beautiful woman in the world, but he preferred spending time with his father, who talked to him and played with him. Becky usually ignored him, and made him eat in the kitchen when she had visitors.

One evening the boy was in bed when he heard his mother singing. Becky had a fine voice, and the little boy crept downstairs to listen. He opened the door of the drawing room so that he could hear better. Lord Steyne was in the room with his mother, and he saw the boy. Becky rushed out of the drawing room and smacked Rawdon very hard. The boy ran away to the kitchen.

‘I’m not crying because she hit me,’ he told the servants. ‘But why can’t I listen when she sings? She sings for that man, but she never sings for me!’

Rawdon and Becky had many creditors, but the sight of Lord Steyne’s carriage outside the house every night made them confident that Becky was rich. They knew that Lord Steyne was one of the richest men in England.

As for Colonel Crawley, he felt out of place with the fashionable people who came to visit his wife. He spent most of his time playing with little Rawdon, or dining at one of his clubs with his old army friends. He saw very little of Becky in this period.

Trouble came to the Sedley household. The family had just enough money to live off from Jos, but old Mr Sedley began to invest the money that Jos sent from India. All his investments failed, however, and he lost the money. Mrs Sedley was afraid of the tradesmen who wanted to be paid. Amelia did not know anything about the financial difficulties of the household.

Just when Mrs Sedley was desperate about money, a letter came for Amelia from old Mr Osborne. He said that he wanted Georgy to come and live with him. He wanted to give the boy a splendid education, and Mr Osborne promised to leave him all his money when he died. He also offered to pay Amelia a small allowance. Amelia was offended by Mr Osborne’s offer and she refused it.

The great day came for Becky when she was presented at Court to George IV. She attended the event with Sir Pitt and his wife Lady Jane. Everyone noticed that she was wearing some splendid diamonds for the occasion.

‘Where did they come from, Becky?’ Rawdon asked her in wonder.

‘Where do you think, you silly man!’ she said with a laugh. ‘I hired them, of course. You don’t suppose that all the diamonds that ladies wear to Court belong to them, do you?’

Becky never returned the diamonds to a shop, however, after her appearance at Court. She hid them away in her desk. The only other person who knew the truth about them was Lord Steyne.

Lord Steyne called on Becky later that day.

‘Send that Briggs woman away,’ he complained. ‘I can’t come here without running into her.’

‘I can’t,’ said Becky sadly. ‘I owe her money, you see. She gave me all her money to invest for her and I’ve spent it.’

Lord Steyne swore angrily.

‘How much is it?’ he asked angrily.

That evening Becky received a cheque from Lord Steyne. She did not pay off her debt to Briggs, however. She paid some of her other bills, and the rest of the money she hid away in the desk with the diamonds.

At last Amelia discovered the truth about her father’s investments. The Sedleys were now completely ruined. The only way to save the family was to accept old Mr Osborne’s offer to look after Georgy. The boy himself was quite excited at the idea of going to live with his rich relatives. He did not realise how much his mother suffered at the change. It nearly broke her heart to see the boy go off to his new home, but there was nothing else she could do.

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