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مجموعه: کتاب های فوق متوسط / کتاب: همزمان که زمان می گذرد / درس 7

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Chapter 6 Ready for Prague

“Rick, if this bomb goes off,” said Louis, “and if it kills Heydrich, the results will be terrible for everybody.” They were sitting in Brown’s Hotel. “A bomb in his car as he comes over the Charles Bridge! Terrible idea! And we have about one chance in a thousand. What happens if it doesn’t work? We’ll have no chance against Heydrich’s guards. We’ll be killed immediately.”

“If Heydrich is dead, I don’t think Victor Laszlo cares if he himself gets out of Prague alive.”

“Rick, why are you going?”

Rick blew a smoke ring into the conversation. “Because I have nowhere else to go and nothing else to do. Do I have to draw you a picture, Louis? Let’s just say I’m going because I made some terrible mistakes in the past, in America. I lost the people I loved, and it was my fault, and I’m still paying for it. But you?

Why are you going?”

“To get back the honor I thought I had lost forever,” said Louis, sadly.

“Honor?” said Rick. “I don’t think I ever heard you use that word.”

” I , too, made a mistake. A young woman was killed many years ago in Paris, killed because I was a coward . . . I’m not sure about this plan for Heydrich, I don’t trust the English, and I don’t like Laszlo, but I need to do something brave. Maybe this is my opportunity.”

Rick lit a cigarette. “I guess things are tough everywhere.”

When they arrived at the house in South Kensington, Major Miles and Victor were there, and the two men from the Czech Resistance group, Jan Kubiš and Josef Gabčík.

Miles started immediately. “We still think that a bomb in Heydrich’s car is the best idea. It’s a British bomb . . . “ “Don’t the Czechs know how to make bombs? I thought they were good at things like that,” said Rick.

” N o t like this one. Not even the Germans have anything like this. It’s small, silent, and completely dependable.”

On the wall, Miles pointed to a large map of Prague. “We have thought about a number of possible places for the attack, but this is the best one, as he takes his usual route across the Charles Bridge in the morning. We know from Miss Lund that Heydrich leaves his house in the country every morning at the same time, and takes the same route. He arrives at the Charles Bridge at exactly the same time every day. There is a point here …” (The Major showed them on the map.) “ . . . when the car has to turn left onto the bridge. At that point, it moves very slowly. We also know from Miss Lund that Heydrich hates people who are late. He’s never late himself. He crosses the bridge at 7:50 and arrives at the caste at 8:00 exactly.”

Victor continued. “Yes. We want Jan and Josef to carry guns and to wait at the end of the bridge, near me. I’ll have the bomb, and I’ll be at the point where the Executioner’s car turns slowly onto the bridge. Louis, you’ll walk into the road, in front of the car, to make it stop for a moment. I’ll go behind the car and drop the bomb into it. Then we’ll have ten seconds before the explosion. Immediately after I put the bomb in the car, Rick, you’ll drop a smoke bomb on the bridge, in front of the car. That’ll give us the chance to escape.”

Rick interrupted. “What’ll happen if there’s a problem? We need a plan.”

“Mr. Blaine is right,” Miles agreed. “If Heydrich is one second more than five minutes late, you mustn’t wait. Leave the bridge immediately. If there’s a problem before the big day, Miss Lund will contact you. Any other questions?”

Nobody spoke.

“Then we’ll wait for Miss Lund to tell us when to leave for Czechoslovakia. Good luck!”They all shook hands.

“Rick,” said Sam. He was organizing Rick’s clothes and packing his bag. “Are you ready to go?”

“As ready as I’m ever going to be.”

“Are you taking this gun? It’s your favorite.”

It was the one he had used against Mussolini’s men and Franco’s. It was also the one he had shot Major Strasser with in Casablanca. “Yes, Sam, but I wish I’d killed the right person with it in the first place, and saved a lot of trouble.”

“Forget about that. It wasn’t your fault.”

“Whose fault was it, then? I didn’t see anyone else in my shoes, wearing my clothes, or driving my car.”

“J was driving your car, or did you forget?”

“It was a long time ago.” Rick finished the bottle. “I hope we meet again after all this is over.”

“Don’t talk like that.You’ve been in danger before.”

“I know, Sam, but in Spain and Africa I didn’t care. Things are different now.”

“Because of Miss Ilsa?”

“Mrs. Laszlo, you mean, Sam.”

“Miss Ilsa, Rick. She’s the reason, isn’t she? Don’t go, Rick.

This isn’t your fight.”

“She’s different. I’m going. She’s given me something to live for again. That’s why I’m scared.”

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