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مجموعه: کتاب های فوق متوسط / کتاب: همزمان که زمان می گذرد / درس 10

کتاب های فوق متوسط

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Chapter 9 Appointments in Prague

“Nervous?” asked Louis.

“No, why?” replied Victor.

“You should be. A man could be killed doing this.”

Rick’s parachute opened as planned. He didn’t really care if Victor followed or not.

They had all left London on a dark, dirty evening, and here they were, just after midnight, arriving in Czechoslovakia.

He landed safely, and the others hit the ground near him.

“I prefer indoor sports,” Louis said.

“Quiet,” whispered Victor.

There were no lights. They followed Jan and Josef through the forest, and soon reached a house in the small village of Lidice.

The door opened. An old woman, bent with age but bright-eyed, led them to a table, where there was food and some Czech beer.

Ten minutes later, everything was cleared from the table, and Victor spread a map out. Louis went to bed. Rick lit a cigarette.

“You still have doubts, don’t you, Mr. Blaine,” said Victor.

“I said I’d do it, and I’m doing it.”

“Why don’t you just leave?”

“It’s a little late for that now.”

“Why did you come? Because of Ilsa?”

“Because of a lot of things. I fell in love with your wife in Paris before I knew that she was your wife. I’m still in love with her. If I didn’t love her, I wouldn’t be here. But I am. I’m sure we’ll both try to work together.”

“Your past relationship with my wife is not important to me.

The next few days are.” He paused. “Mr. Blaine, Reinhard Heydrich killed my father. My father’s politics were unacceptable to the Nazis. When they arrived in Prague, I escaped, but my father didn’t. Heydrich must be stopped! I will ask you again, for the last time: are you with us or not? I’m asking you in the name of the woman we both love, Ilsa.”

Rick looked at him. “I’m with you.”

The plan was for Rick to contact Ilsa in Prague. Louis would follow by a different route a few hours later. Victor had to stay in Lidice because his face was too well-known in Prague. Jan and Josef were responsible for keeping in contact with the Czech Resistance.

In the morning, Rick went into Prague and took a room beside the Charles Bridge. Ilsa’s address was not far away. He had to see her.

They met in a small bar near his hotel. She looked beautiful.

He wanted to kiss her, but he didn’t. Eyes seemed to be everywhere in Prague. Ilsa spoke softly, almost whispering. “The operation may not be possible.”

“That’s very sudden, isn’t it?”

“Yes. We can’t talk in here.”

They finished their drinks and went out into the sun. They pulled their hats down, and Ilsa put on sunglasses.

“What’s happening?” Rick asked.

“I don’t know, but the Czech Resistance is asking London to stop the operation. They seem afraid of what could happen if we succeed.”

“They may be right.” He lit a cigarette and remembered Louis’s doubts. “Or maybe they know that the Germans suspect something? Do they suspect you?”

“I don’t know. It’s possible.” Ilsa was worried. “But we have to continue,” she said. “Heydrich is the worst kind of monster. He’s evil. Things are going to get worse.”

“For the Jews?”

“Especially for the Jews. He hates Communists and Jews. He’ll kill them all if he can . . . and there’s something else . . . He wants to make love to me. He tried last night. I didn’t let him, but I can’t refuse him for long. He’s that kind of man.”

Rick’s anger boiled inside him. He hadn’t felt so angry for years. “Then we really have to hurry.”

“Yes, but not just for me. For Victor. For everybody in Europe.”

They walked in silence. Suddenly, Rick spoke. He had an idea that could save Ilsa and the operation. “We’ll inform Heydrich that there’s a plan to kill him.”

“Victor will never agree to that.”

“Don’t worry about Victor. Don’t you see? This is the oldest trick in the world. You tell someone what’s going to happen. So, he trusts you—and then you do it!” He hated lying to her, but Louis was right. The Czech people would pay a terrible price for Heydrich’s death.

“But he’ll send his men looking for us.”

“It seems they’re already looking for us.”

“Are you sure it will work?”

“Trust me. Heydrich thinks he’s tough. People like him never believe it can happen to them.”

“How do you know?”

“I know,” he said quietly. “It happened to me once.”

In the end, Ilsa agreed. “I’ll tell him,” she said. “I’ll tell him there’s a plan to bomb his car tomorrow. I’ll ask him to be careful and to take another route.”

“Why you?”

“Because I’m the one closest to him. There’s a party tonight at the castle, and he’s asked me to be his partner. I’ll be with him.

He trusts me.”

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