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مجموعه: کتاب های فوق متوسط / کتاب: لورنا دون / درس 16

کتاب های فوق متوسط

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Chapter 15 London Again

When I reached London, I heard that Lorna was living with her mother’s uncle, Lord Brandir. I also heard that the queen liked Lorna very much, and that they often went to church together. I was not kept in prison, and could go where I wanted in the city. So I went to the church and waited among the crowd, hoping to see my Lorna.

The king and queen arrived, surrounded by many lords and great men. Then came beautiful ladies who were serving the queen. And then I saw Lorna. As I looked at her, she turned and saw me. Her eyes were very gentle and sweet as we looked at each other.

I went into the church and sat down. While I was sitting there, a man brought me a note from Lorna, telling me to visit her at her house the next day.

Gwenny Carfax opened the door to Lord Brandir’s house, and led me into a large room. After a few minutes, Lorna came in.

She was wearing a white dress and looked very lovely, but there was sadness in her face.

‘Why haven’t you replied to my letters?’ she asked, and started to cry.

‘Because you sent me none,’ I answered.

‘What?’ cried Lorna, and she went and spoke to Gwenny.

At last I discovered why I had not received any letters from Lorna. The servant girl had hidden them because she wanted Lorna to marry a great lord. But Lorna told me that she hated London life.

‘These important men only love me for my money,’ she said. ‘I only think of you. Come and see me often, John.’

In the next weeks, while I was waiting to go to court, I often visited Lorna. One evening, as I was leaving Lord Brandir’s house, I looked back and saw three men waiting in the shadows.

‘What are those men doing there?’ I thought. ‘They must be thieves. I’ll wait and see what their plan is.’

I hid in some bushes near the house. Soon, the lights in the house went out. Everybody had gone to bed. I heard a low call from some trees near the house, and the men walked quietly past me to an open window and climbed in. I went quickly towards the house and, after a few minutes, I climbed in at the same window. A servant girl carrying a lamp was leading the three men. They reached the door of Lord Brandir’s room, broke it open and went in.

I followed them into the room. One of the men was pointing a gun at Lord Brandir, who was in his nightclothes. The other two were trying to open a large box.

‘Tell me where the key is or I’ll shoot you,’ said the man with the gun. ‘I’ll count to ten, and then I’ll shoot.’

‘I won’t tell you,’ answered Lord Brandir fiercely. He was old but he did not look afraid.

The man began to count, ‘One . . . two . . . three …’

I ran quickly across the room and struck the man’s gun with my stick. It fell to the ground. Then I brought the stick down on his head, and he fell on the floor.

The other two thieves came at me. One of them had a gun.

Moving very fast, I picked up the man I had hit and held him in front of me. The thief fired at me, but the shot hit the other man, who died immediately. The other two thieves were small men. I seized them easily and tied their hands and feet.

The next morning, the two thieves were taken in front of a judge. They were well-known criminals and great enemies of the king. The judge was very pleased that I had caught them, and immediately wrote a letter to the king about it. Lord Brandir also told the king how I had caught the thieves.

That same afternoon a man came to take me to the king. I put on my best clothes and drank some beer, because my hands were shaking. Then I went to the palace, where the king was very kind to me, and told me I was a brave man. The queen, who was with him, looked at me with interest.

‘So this is John Ridd,’ she said. ‘Dear Lorna has often spoken to me about you.’

‘John Ridd,’ said the king, ‘you have done me a great service.

Kneel!’

I went down on one knee, and he gently touched me on the shoulder.

‘Stand, Sir John Ridd,’ he said.

He had made me a knight.

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