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مجموعه: کتاب های فوق متوسط / کتاب: لورنا دون / درس 10

کتاب های فوق متوسط

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Chapter 9 Danger in the Valley

One afternoon, Jeremy Stickles arrived at our house. He led me into a field and looked carefully around to see that no one was listening.

‘John,’ he said, ‘Judge Jeffreys spoke to you about the possibility of a rebellion in this part of the country. That’s why I’ve come here.We know that the Duke ofMonmouth is looking for men to fight against the king’s brother, James. I’ve been sent to discover more about this plan.You may be ordered to fight for the king.’

Several weeks passed. Each day Lorna left a sign to tell me that she was safe. But suddenly these signs ended, and I was very frightened for her. Each day my fear grew.

Three times I went into the valley and waited for her, but she did not come. Once I followed the stream far up the valley and came to a small stone house. I guessed it was the house of Carver Doone and listened carefully, but there was no one inside. Before I went home that night, I decided that I would enter the valley again from the other end. I wanted to discover where they kept Lorna.

The next day, I went on foot round the hills to the southern entrance to the Doone valley. It was nearly dark when I got there. Just as I arrived at the entrance, the moon came out. I stepped back quickly into the shadows.

A heavy tree hung over the entrance to the valley. The Doones could let it fall if an enemy tried to go in. I call it an ‘entrance’, but there were three entrances into the valley and only the Doones knew which was the right one. They often changed it, and ifyou chose the wrong one, you would die.

I guessed, and chose the middle opening. I went in and was soon in total darkness. I fell over something hard and long - a cannon. This made me think that I had come the right way.

As I turned the next corner, I saw two Doones guarding the path into the valley. I hid quickly and watched them for some time. Their lamp was on the ground and they were playing a game, but each man held a gun in his hand. I heard them call each other by their names. One of the men was Charlie Doone and the other was called Phelps. They began to argue, and Charlie threw his glass in Phelps’s face. The glass fell, hit the lamp and broke it.

‘Go and get another lamp from Carver’s house,’ Phelps said angrily.

Charlie got up and walked in my direction, singing strangely to himself. He passed very close to me as I stood deep in the shadows, and his coat touched my hand. I followed him as he turned this way and that way, and at last I came to open sky and saw all the houses of the Doones spread out below me.

Charlie continued walking and I followed, keeping in the shadows. He stopped at an open door. Carver was standing just inside.

‘What do you want at this time of night?’ he asked.

‘I want a new lamp. The other fell and broke,’ said Charlie.

I did not stop, but continued walking to the next house.

Suddenly a watchman came towards me in the darkness.

‘Who are you? Answer or I’ll shoot!’ he shouted.

His gun was pointing at me. I was very frightened but I began to sing. I wanted the man to think I was a Doone, so I sang the little song that Charlie had sung.

When the man heard it, he said, ‘All right,’ then went away. I learned afterwards that the song was the secret song of Carver Doone. The guard had thought that I was him.

A face appeared at a window. It was Lorna, looking to see who had shouted. Her face was very sad.

‘Lorna, it’s me,’ I whispered.

‘Oh,John!’ she whispered, ‘you must be mad to come here!’

‘I had to come, you know that,’ I replied. ‘You knew I would come. What’s happened? Why hasn’t there been any sign from you? Are you in danger?’

‘My grandfather, Sir Ensor, is very ill,’ she replied. ‘I’m afraid he won’t live long. Counsellor and Carver Doone control the valley now, and I don’t dare go outside the house. I’m frightened that Carver will seize me. Gwenny, my servant, isn’t allowed to leave the valley.’

‘How can I know if you’re in danger? You must make some sign to me.’

Lorna thought for a time, then said, ‘Do you see that high tree with seven birds’ nests in it ? You can see it from outside the valley. Gwenny can climb up that tree. She’ll take away one of the nests if there’s danger. If you can only see six nests in the tree, you’ll know that I’m in trouble. If you can only see five nests, you’ll know that Carver has carried me away.’

‘Oh, God!’ I said, and the anger in my voice frightened Lorna.

‘Don’t worry,’ she whispered sadly. ‘I won’t let him touch me.

If I have to, I’ll kill myself.’

I only said, ‘God protect you.’ She said the same to me, in a low, sad voice. We said a sweet goodbye to each other, and I went home.

Jeremy was staying with us and acting very strangely. He went out every morning and came back late at night, and no one knew where he went or what he did.

One morning, Tom Faggus came to our house to see Annie. I went out alone, thinking of my love for Lorna. It was so easy for Tom and Annie, and so difficult for me! I went to the little wood near our house and began to cut wood for the fires.

‘Lorna, it’s me,’ I whispered.

‘Oh,John!’ she whispered, ‘you must be mad to come here!’

‘I had to come, you know that,’ I replied. ‘You knew I would come. What’s happened? Why hasn’t there been any sign from you? Are you in danger?’

‘My grandfather, Sir Ensor, is very ill,’ she replied. ‘I’m afraid he won’t live long. Counsellor and Carver Doone control the valley now, and I don’t dare go outside the house. I’m frightened that Carver will seize me. Gwenny, my servant, isn’t allowed to leave the valley.’

‘How can I know if you’re in danger? You must make some sign to me.’

Lorna thought for a time, then said, ‘Do you see that high tree with seven birds’ nests in it ? You can see it from outside the valley. Gwenny can climb up that tree. She’ll take away one of the nests if there’s danger. If you can only see six nests in the tree, you’ll know that I’m in trouble. If you can only see five nests, you’ll know that Carver has carried me away.’

‘Oh, God!’ I said, and the anger in my voice frightened Lorna.

‘Don’t worry,’ she whispered sadly. ‘I won’t let him touch me.

If I have to, I’ll kill myself.’

I only said, ‘God protect you.’ She said the same to me, in a low, sad voice. We said a sweet goodbye to each other, and I went home.

Jeremy was staying with us and acting very strangely. He went out every morning and came back late at night, and no one knew where he went or what he did.

One morning, Tom Faggus came to our house to see Annie. I went out alone, thinking of my love for Lorna. It was so easy for Tom and Annie, and so difficult for me! I went to the little wood near our house and began to cut wood for the fires.

‘Lorna, it’s me,’ I whispered.

‘Oh,John!’ she whispered, ‘you must be mad to come here!’

‘I had to come, you know that,’ I replied. ‘You knew I would come. What’s happened? Why hasn’t there been any sign from you? Are you in danger?’

‘My grandfather, Sir Ensor, is very ill,’ she replied. ‘I’m afraid he won’t live long. Counsellor and Carver Doone control the valley now, and I don’t dare go outside the house. I’m frightened that Carver will seize me. Gwenny, my servant, isn’t allowed to leave the valley.’

‘How can I know if you’re in danger? You must make some sign to me.’

Lorna thought for a time, then said, ‘Do you see that high tree with seven birds’ nests in it ? You can see it from outside the valley. Gwenny can climb up that tree. She’ll take away one of the nests if there’s danger. If you can only see six nests in the tree, you’ll know that I’m in trouble. If you can only see five nests, you’ll know that Carver has carried me away.’

‘Oh, God!’ I said, and the anger in my voice frightened Lorna.

‘Don’t worry,’ she whispered sadly. ‘I won’t let him touch me.

If I have to, I’ll kill myself.’

I only said, ‘God protect you.’ She said the same to me, in a low, sad voice. We said a sweet goodbye to each other, and I went home.

Jeremy was staying with us and acting very strangely. He went out every morning and came back late at night, and no one knew where he went or what he did.

One morning, Tom Faggus came to our house to see Annie. I went out alone, thinking of my love for Lorna. It was so easy for Tom and Annie, and so difficult for me! I went to the little wood near our house and began to cut wood for the fires.

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