فصل 21

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فصل 21

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دانلود اپلیکیشن «زیبوک»

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متن انگلیسی فصل

CHAPTER TWENTY ONE

‘I feel like I’ve woken up from a nightmare,’ sighed Hilary, stretching her arms above her head. They had arrived that morning at a hotel in Tangier, and were now sitting outside on the terrace.

‘Yes, it was a nightmare,’ agreed Tom Betterton, ‘but it’s over now.’

Jessop came along the terrace and sat down beside them. ‘Where’s Andy Peters?’ asked Hilary.

‘He’ll be here soon,’ said Jessop. ‘He has something to do first.’

‘So Peters was one of your agents,’ said Hilary. ‘He put luminous paint on that car and used his lead cigarette case to leave behind signs of radioactivity. I had no idea what he was doing.’

‘No,’ said Jessop, ‘you were both very good at keeping secrets. And Peters isn’t really one of my agents - he works for America.’

‘So that’s what you meant when you said I would have protection if I reached Tom. You meant Andy Peters.’

Jessop nodded. ‘And I hope you’re not disappointed,’ he said, ‘that in the end you didn’t die.’

Hilary shook her head in disbelief. ‘Now I can’t believe that I ever wanted to end my life,’ she said. ‘I’ve been Olive Betterton so long that it’s confusing to be Hilary Craven again.’

‘Ah,’ said Jessop, standing up. ‘There’s my friend, Leblanc. I must go and speak to him.’ He walked along the terrace, leaving Tom and Hilary alone.

‘Will you do one more thing for me?’ asked Betterton quickly.

‘Yes, of course. What is it?’ Hilary asked.

‘Walk along the terrace with me, and then say that I’ve gone up to my room.’

‘Why? What are you…?’

‘I’m leaving now,’ he said, ‘while I still can. If I stay here, I’ll be arrested.’

Hilary looked at him with surprise - she had forgotten Betterton’s problems. ‘But where will you go?’

‘Anywhere,’ he said. ‘I’ve got money hidden away under a different name.’

‘So you did take money?’

‘Of course I took money.’

‘But they’ll find you eventually.’

‘I don’t think so. Don’t you realize that my face is different after the plastic surgery? They have an old description of me. I’ll be safe.’

Hilary looked at him doubtfully. ‘Isn’t it better to be arrested?’ she said. ‘You won’t stay in prison for long. But if you go now, you’ll be hunted for the rest of your life.’

‘You don’t understand,’ he said. ‘You don’t understand at all. Come on, let’s go.’

Hilary walked with him slowly along the terrace. She didn’t know what to do or what to say. Despite everything they’d shared, Tom Betterton was still a stranger to her.

They arrived at a door to the road. ‘I’ll go out here,’ said Betterton. ‘Goodbye.’

‘Good luck,’ said Hilary slowly.

But as Betterton opened the door, two men stood there, blocking his way. ‘Thomas Betterton, you are under arrest,’ said the first man, a police official. The second man moved behind Betterton to block his escape.

Betterton laughed. ‘There’s only one problem,’ he said. ‘I’m not Thomas Betterton. I’ve been calling myself Thomas Betterton but I’m not really him. I met Betterton in Paris and took his place. Ask this lady if you don’t believe me.’ He pointed to Hilary. ‘She pretended to be my wife.’ Hilary nodded.

‘But because I’m not Tom Betterton,’ he continued, ‘I didn’t know what his wife looked like. I thought she was Olive Betterton.’

‘So that’s why you pretended to know me!’ exclaimed Hilary.

Betterton laughed again. ‘I’m not Tom Betterton,’ he repeated. ‘Look at any photo of him and you’ll see I’m telling the truth.’

The second man stepped forward. It was Andy Peters, and when he spoke his voice was cold and hard. ‘I know you don’t look like your photo anymore,’ he said. ‘But you are Tom Betterton - and I can prove it.’

He held Betterton’s arm firmly and took off the man’s jacket. ‘If you are Tom Betterton, you have a scar in the shape of a Z in the bend of your right elbow.’ As he spoke, he ripped the shirtsleeve upwards.

‘There it is,’ Peters said, pointing. ‘There are two laboratory assistants in America who will swear that that scar belongs to Tom Betterton. I know about it because Elsa wrote and told me.’

‘Elsa?’ Betterton stared at him. He began to shake nervously. ‘Elsa? What about Elsa?’

‘She is the reason you are being arrested,’ replied Peters.

‘You are under arrest for murder,’ the police official said. ‘The murder of your first wife, Elsa Betterton.’

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