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مجموعه: کتاب های پیشرفته / کتاب: پدرخوانده / درس 13

کتاب های پیشرفته

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Chapter 12 Many Changes

As months turned into years, there were many changes. Michael and Kay got married and had two children. Connie and Carlo Rizzi moved with their children into a house on Long Island, to be near the rest of the family. Fredo was sent to Las Vegas, where the Corleones had bought one hotel and were planning to buy many more. Barzini was taking advantage of the peace between the five families, and was beginning to take over a lot of the Corleone family business in New York. Tessio and Clemenza wanted to fight Barzini before he became too strong, but Michael, who had spent long hours talking to Tom Hagen and his father, learning the family business, told them to be patient. At first, Tessio and Clemenza didn’t like taking orders from Michael. They tried to talk to Don Corleone instead. But the old man said: ‘Do you trust me?’‘Yes, Godfather,’ Tessio and Clemenza replied ‘Then be a friend to Michael He’s head of the family now Do as he says’

One afternoon, Michael sat in the garden with his father Don Corleone had put on a lot of weight and moved very slowly He spent most of his time in the garden, looking after his plants, or just sitting under a tree, drinking wine, thinking about the past. But his mind was still sharp Michael always came to him for advice

‘Be careful of Barzini,’ he told Michael ‘He’ll move against you first He’ll arrange a meeting with someone that you trust. He’ll promise you safety But at that meeting, he’ll kill you’

Don Corleone drank some red wine, and suddenly changed the subject ‘Are you happy with your wife and children7’ he asked

‘Very happy,’ Michael said softly He wanted to hear more about Barzini, but he respected and loved his father too much to hurry him.

‘That’s good,’ said Don Corleone. He looked around the garden for a moment with a sad look in his eyes, then said ‘I’m sorry I can’t stop thinking about Barzini. It worries me. I always thought Sonny would be head of the family. I never wanted this for you There just wasn’t enough time

Michael gently touched his father’s arm ‘Don’t worry, Father,’ he said.

‘I’ll take care of it.’

Don Corleone nodded, smiled to himself, then looked suddenly serious as if he had forgotten to tell Michael something important ‘What’s the matter, Father?’ Michael asked.

‘Listen,’ Don Corleone raised one finger. ‘Whoever comes to you with this Barzini meeting — he’s the traitor. Don’t forget that’

Then, standing with great difficulty, he touched Michael lovingly on the cheek and walked slowly back to the house, out of the sun.

One Sunday morning, while the women were at church, Don Corleone was playing with his grandson among his tomato plants in the garden.

As he tried to run away from the little boy who was chasing him, he suddenly found it hard to breathe. It was as if the sun had come down very close to his head. He stopped running and started to cough as he tried to get air into his chest The little boy laughed, thinking this was part of the game. Don Corleone bent forward, coughing more and more, and then he felt it: an explosion of fire inside his chest. With a cry of pain, he fell back among his tomato plants, dead.

All his life, people had tried to kill him They had failed In the end, Don Vito Corleone died a natural death, playing with his grandson in his garden on a peaceful Sunday morning.

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