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متن انگلیسی فصل
Back to Doone valley
The months and the years went by, and I grew very tall and strong, as my father had been. By the time I had finished growing, I was bigger than any man on Exmoor, and could pick up John Fry with one hand and hold him in the air - until he begged me to put him down.
My sister Annie grew more and more beautiful every year, with her wide blue eyes and soft brown hair. She was so kind and so gentle that everyone loved to be with her, and it is easy to understand why my mother’s cousin, Tom Faggus, fell in love with her.
Tom Faggus was someone that our family was both proud and ashamed of. For a time he was one of the most famous robbers in England, and people still tell the stories of his adventures all over the country. He had been an honest farmer once, but a rich man had used the law to steal his farm, and after that Tom took his revenge on all rich men he met on the roads. Perhaps that was why he was so popular with the people, as he stole only from the rich, gave generously to the poor and the sick, and never hurt anyone in his life.
While I was still a boy, he came to our farm one day, asking my mother for food and a bed for the night. At first my mother told him to go away, fearing that we children would learn bad ways from him, but in the end she agreed.
‘You may be a bad man in some ways,’ she said to him, ‘but there are far worse than you. So come and sit by the fire, and eat whatever we can give you.’
Tom always had a smile and a good word for everybody, and was great fun to be with. All the time he was with us, I saw Annie looking at him very kindly, and over the years we had many more visits from him.
As for Lizzie, I never thought anyone would fall in love with her! She was small and thin, and perhaps a little too clever - you never knew what she was going to say next.
But I should not talk in this way about my own sister.
My mother didn’t seem to grow any older, and was still pretty, and as good-hearted as ever. She had never forgotten my father, and as the years went by, she still sometimes cried for him.
In all this time, if I thought of Lorna Doone at all, it was only as a kind of dream. And the Doone men went on robbing and killing, just as they pleased.
Then one Christmas, when I was twenty-one, my Uncle Ben was robbed by the Doones on his way across Exmoor.
He had been coming to visit us, and when he didn’t arrive, my mother sent me out to look for him. I found him on a high, lonely path, tied on to his horse with his nose to its tail. He was very angry, and wanted revenge on the Doones. He asked me to show him where they lived, so that he could learn the best way to attack them ‘when the time was right’. So a day or two later I took him up into the mountains that looked down on the valley.
I had not been back this way since I was fourteen, and on the way, I thought of the girl I had met in this valley -of her lovely dark eyes, her sweet smile, her sadness. and her loneliness.
At the top of a steep cliff, we looked down into the long, green Doone valley. At either end was a narrow gap in the mountain walls. At the further end was the waterfall which I had climbed seven years before, and at the other was what we called the Doone-gate. This was two rocky cliffs facing each other, with only a narrow path between them. It was like the gate of a castle, and it seemed impossible to break into the valley. But Uncle Ben saw a way.
‘Do you see how you could attack them?’ he said. ‘If you put big guns along the cliffs on both sides, and fired down into the valley, you could defeat the Doones in half an hour.’
But I was not listening to him. I was looking across to the waterfall end of the valley, and a little figure in white walking there, someone who walked with a very light step.
My heart began to beat more quickly, and the blood came to my face. In seven years I had half-forgotten her, and she would never remember me, I thought. But at that moment, once and for all, I saw my future in front of me: Lorna Doone.
On the way home I was quiet, and Uncle Ben asked me many times what was wrong with me. But I could not tell him. The truth was, I had decided to go back into Doone valley.
I waited until Saint Valentine’s Day - the exact day when I had first entered the valley. Again, I followed the river, and again I climbed the waterfall. Although I was seven years older, the climb was not easy. When I got to the top, I looked around me carefully.
In the early spring sunshine, the valley was beautiful. As I looked at the stream and the fields of grass on either side of it, I forgot about any dangers - and then I heard someone singing, in a beautiful voice. At first I hid behind a rock, but when I looked out, I saw the lovely sight of Lorna Doone coming towards me, along by the side of the stream. Her beauty frightened me. How could I - only a farmer - talk to her? But something seemed to pull at me and I came out from behind the rock.
At first, she turned to run away, not knowing who I was, but then I said, ‘Lorna Doone!’ and she seemed to remember me. A smile broke out on her face.
‘I’m John Ridd,’ I said, ‘the boy who gave you those beautiful fish, seven years ago today.’
‘Oh, yes - the boy who was so frightened that he hid behind those rocks. I remember.’
‘And do you remember how kind you were, and how you wanted to help me? And then you went away, riding on a big man’s shoulders, and pretending you had never seen me. But you looked back and waved at me.’
‘Oh, yes. I remember everything, because it isn’t often I see anybody, except - I mean. Well, I just remember, that’s all. But don’t you remember, sir, how dangerous this place is?’
But I couldn’t answer her. She had kept her eyes on me all the time - large eyes, of a softness and brightness and beauty that took my breath away. I felt love taking hold of me - a love too deep and too strong for words. How could I explain feelings that I did not really understand myself?
She turned her eyes away from me. ‘I don’t think you can possibly know, John Ridd, the dangers of this place, or what its people are like.’
I could see that she herself was very frightened. She was trembling, from fear that someone might see me while I was there, and hurt me. To tell the truth, I also grew afraid, and thought I had better go and say no more, until the next time I came.
I touched her white hand softly. ‘Don’t be afraid,’ I said. ‘I’ll go now, but I’ll come again soon, and bring you some fresh eggs from our farm.’
She reminded me again of the danger. ‘But,’ she went on, ‘it seems that you still remember your secret way in,’ and she smiled at me kindly.
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