دوستان و دشمنها

مجموعه: کتاب های فوق متوسط / کتاب: لورنا دون / درس 9

کتاب های فوق متوسط

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دوستان و دشمنها

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Chapter 8 Friends and Enemies

At this time, we began to hear strange stories in the village. King Charles II had no children, and he wanted his brother, James, to be king after his death. People said that some men in this part of the country were against James and were preparing to fight against him. When I heard this, I remembered Judge Jeffreys’s words. I said nothing, but I was afraid of what might happen.

One evening I had a long talk with Annie. I knew that she was in love with Tom Faggus. She hoped that he would ask her to marry him.

‘Be careful,’ I said. ‘Tom’s a highwayman!’

‘And what are the Doones?’ Annie said. ‘Aren’t they highwaymen too? But you love one of them.’

I was very surprised. ‘How did you know?’ I asked.

‘I didn’t know,’ she answered. ‘I only guessed it from some things you’ve said. And I knew that you went to the Doone valley to see someone. Now I know it’s true.’

I told Annie all about my love for Lorna, but I did not tell my mother, because the Doones had killed my father. I was afraid she would be very angry.

On my last visit to Lorna, I had promised not to go to the valley for two months.When the eight weeks ended, I climbed up there again. But although I waited until the moon came up, Lorna did not come.

I went again the next day with a present of fish and eggs, which I put in a little bed of grass near the edge of the water. As 1 was putting them there, I saw a man coming slowly down the valley. I quickly hid behind a tree. The man came nearer, and I saw that his face was cold and cruel.

He came to the edge of the water and saw the eggs and fish.

‘So!’ he cried angrily, ‘Charlie’s leaving presents here for Lorna!’

The man’s face became black with anger, and I guessed that he was Carver Doone. This was the man who wanted to marry Lorna! He took the fish and the eggs and went away. I waited, but Lorna did not come. All the beauty of the evening had gone.

The next day I went to the valley again, and waited near the entrance to Lorna’s secret place. Suddenly there was the sound of a gun. The shot went through my hat and carried it off my head.

The hat fell into the water and was carried away over the waterfall. Shaking with fear, I quickly hid behind a rock.

Carver came out from behind some bushes and ran to the edge of the waterfall. He stood within a few feet ofwhere I was hiding.

‘Have I killed you, Charlie?’ he shouted. ‘This is the third time that I’ve shot at you.’

He went away laughing, and I laughed too — silently. I felt sure that one day I would fight Carver Doone and win Lorna from him.

That evening, our servant, Betty, made strange signs to me, then came and whispered in my ear, ‘Lorna Doone’. I quickly followed her out of the house.

When we got outside she said, ‘I have a message for you from Lorna Doone. Her servant brought it. Lorna can’t meet you in the evenings. Go to the valley in the morning.’

Of course, I was up the next morning before the October sunrise. I climbed up into the valley while the first light of morning was coming over the hills. Winter was near, and the trees and bushes were touched with red and gold. At last I stood at the top of the rock. I looked up the valley and saw Lorna. She looked glad to see me, and this made me happy.

‘At last you’ve come, John!’ she cried. ‘They’ve kept me prisoner in my house every evening.’

I followed her into her hiding-place in the rocks. Lorna started to speak of the difficulties and dangers of her life, but I said softly, ‘That isn’t what I want to hear.’

‘What do you mean?’ she said, pretending not to understand me.

‘Do you love me?’ I asked.

‘I love you,’ she said. ‘But how does that help us ? My life is too dangerous. We can never marry. It can never happen - never.’

I went home that day feeling happy and sad. When I got home, I found Tom Faggus there; he had come to tell my mother that he wanted to marry Annie.

That same day, I told my mother about Lorna. She understood and accepted my feelings, and that made me very happy.

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