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کتاب های فوق متوسط

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Chapter 14 The Search for Torn Faggus

For many months I received no letters from Lorna. I did not know where to write to her, and I began to think that she had forgotten me. But I often heard news of her. Travellers from London told us that Lorna was already famous for her beauty.

Many young lords wanted to marry her for her money. I felt very sad, and was sure I had lost her. I could never forget her but I tried to work hard on the farm.

The new year came. In February 1685 we received the news that King Charles II had died. His brother, James II, was now King of England.We heard too that the Duke of Monmouth was coming from France to the south of England. Many farmers in the south wanted to join him in a rebellion against the new king.

There was talk that Judge Jeffreys was coming to hang the rebels.

Some months later, Annie came to see me, weeping.

‘Oh, John,’ she said, ‘Tom has gone with the Duke of Monmouth’s rebels to fight against King James! Please find him and bring him back!’

‘I’ll try, I promise,’ I said.

Next day, I rode out to look for Tom. At last, I found the Duke’s soldiers at Bridgwater. They were not real soldiers, only countrymen who had not been taught to fight or use a gun.

I was very tired and stayed the night in a pub. The lady of the house woke me very early in the morning.

‘The battle has begun,’ she said.

I heard the sound of guns and dressed quickly. I rode out of town and onto the marshes, but there was a thick mist and it was difficult to see the way.

I came to a little village called Zeeland. The king’s men had been there and their cooking fires were still burning, but the men were gone. I found a young man who knew the country and asked him to be my guide. He led me to the back of the Duke’s army. It was four o’clock in the morning when we came out on the open marshes. The sun came up, and by its light I saw a terrible sight.

Men were flying in fear from a great battle, covered with blood and dust. Their only hope was to stay alive. Dead men lay on the ground with wide-open eyes. They were countrymen who had known nothing of war or battle; their hands had never held a gun. And here they lay dead and dying.

The men shouted to me as I passed them, ‘The battle has ended! The cannons have come! They’re killing us all!’

I tried to help some of the men, although I was almost in tears at the sight of their pain. I gave some water to a dying man, who asked me to tell his wife about money hidden in an apple tree.

Then I felt a soft touch on my face and looked up. Tom’s horse, Winnie, looked at me, then turned her head. I realized that she was trying to tell me something. She ran away a few steps, then turned and looked at me again. I got on my horse and followed her.

We came near the front line of the battle. The Duke’s men were standing beside a river that they could not cross. They had no guns, but shouted at the king’s men on the other side, ‘Come over and fight us!’

The king’s soldiers lifted their guns and shot them down. Then the king’s horsemen came at them from behind and rode in among them. I heard the noise of that fight, and the cries of the men who were struck down.

I followed Winnie for a long time until she stopped near a little hut. She made a low sound, and I realized she was calling to Tom. There was no answer, so she went inside.

Tom Faggus had been shot by the king’s men and there was a great hole in his side. I gave him some water and he opened his eyes, then he put up his hand and touched Winnie.

‘Is Winnie hurt?’ he asked.

‘No,’ I said.

‘Put me on her back,’ he said.

I put him on Winnie’s back and she went away. She seemed to know where to go, and soon they were out of sight.

I lay down in the hut and slept.

I slept for three or four hours, and when I woke there were a lot of soldiers in the hut.

‘What are you doing here?’ they asked. ‘You must be one of the Duke of Monmouth’s rebels.’

at the sight of their pain. I gave some water to a dying man, who asked me to tell his wife about money hidden in an apple tree.

Then I felt a soft touch on my face and looked up. Tom’s horse, Winnie, looked at me, then turned her head. I realized that she was trying to tell me something. She ran away a few steps, then turned and looked at me again. I got on my horse and followed her.

We came near the front line of the battle. The Duke’s men were standing beside a river that they could not cross. They had no guns, but shouted at the king’s men on the other side, ‘Come over and fight us!’

The king’s soldiers lifted their guns and shot them down. Then the king’s horsemen came at them from behind and rode in among them. I heard the noise of that fight, and the cries of the men who were struck down.

I followed Winnie for a long time until she stopped near a little hut. She made a low sound, and I realized she was calling to Tom. There was no answer, so she went inside.

Tom Faggus had been shot by the king’s men and there was a great hole in his side. I gave him some water and he opened his eyes, then he put up his hand and touched Winnie.

‘Is Winnie hurt?’ he asked.

‘No,’ I said.

‘Put me on her back,’ he said.

I put him on Winnie’s back and she went away. She seemed to know where to go, and soon they were out of sight.

I lay down in the hut and slept.

I slept for three or four hours, and when I woke there were a lot of soldiers in the hut.

‘What are you doing here?’ they asked. ‘You must be one of the Duke of Monmouth’s rebels.’

The soldiers freed me, I climbed on my horse and I rode away behind Jeremy.

‘Thank you, Jeremy Stickles,’ I said. ‘You saved my life.’

‘You saved me from the Doones, John,’ he said. ‘Now we’re equal again. But don’t try to run away — the soldiers know your name. If you run away, your farm will be seized, and your mother and sisters will die of hunger. I’ll take you to court in London.

Here, they don’t give you a chance to speak — they just hang you.

But in London, the judge will listen.’

So we started on the journey to London. As we rode, I often thought of Lorna, and wondered if she still loved me.

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