- زمان مطالعه 5 دقیقه
- سطح متوسط
دانلود اپلیکیشن «زیبوک»
این فصل را میتوانید به بهترین شکل و با امکانات عالی در اپلیکیشن «زیبوک» بخوانید
متن انگلیسی فصل
Victoria, Richard and Dr Pauncefoot Jones started for Baghdad early. It took nearly three uncomfortable hours in the bumping lorry before it left them at the Tio Hotel. A lot of mail was waiting for Dr Pauncefoot Jones and Richard.
Marcus appeared, smiling his usual friendly welcome for Victoria. ‘You do not come to my hotel for two weeks. Why is that? You lunch here today?’
Clearly, the kidnapping of Victoria had not been noticed. Possibly Edward had not been to the police.
‘Is Mr Dakin in Baghdad, do you know, Marcus?’ she asked.
‘Mr Dakin - ah yes, very nice man - of course, he is a friend of yours. He was here yesterday.’
‘Do you know where his office is?’
‘Sure I know. Everybody knows the Iraqi Iranian Oil Company.’
‘Well, I want to go there now. In a taxi.’
Marcus immediately shouted at a servant to get a taxi. Then Marcus took Victoria out and instructed the driver.
‘And can I have a room?’ Victoria asked.
‘Yes, yes. I can give you a beautiful room and I order you a big steak - very special. And before that we can have a little drink.’
‘Lovely,’ said Victoria. ‘Oh Marcus, can you lend me some money?’
‘Of course, my dear. Here you are.’
The taxi started off suddenly with a noisy honk of its horn and Victoria fell back on the seat holding coins and notes.
Five minutes later Victoria entered the offices of the Iraqi Iranian Oil Company.
Mr Dakin rose from his desk and shook her hand as she was shown in.
‘Miss - er - Miss Jones, isn’t it? Bring coffee, Abdullah.’ As the door closed behind the clerk, Victoria said quietly, ‘There’s something I’ve got to tell you at once - before anything more happens to me.’
‘Happens to you? Has anything happened to you?’
‘Don’t you know?’ asked Victoria. ‘Hasn’t Edward told you?’
‘That jealous Catherine!’
‘I bet she told Edward some silly story and the idiot believed her.’
‘Well, let’s hear about it,’ said Mr Dakin. ‘Er - if I may say so,’ his eye went to Victoria’s blonde head, ‘I prefer you as a brunette.’
‘That’s only part of it,’ said Victoria.
There was a knock at the door and Abdullah entered with little cups of sweet coffee.
When he had gone, Victoria began the story of her adventures. She finished by telling him about the red scarf Carmichael had dropped and how she connected it with Madame Defarge - and the idea that a message was knitted into the scarf.
‘I think,’ said Dakin, his eyes shining with excitement, ‘that this is the first real success we’ve had. Where is the scarf?’
‘With the rest of my things - when I packed, I put everything in.’
‘And you never mentioned to anyone that that scarf belonged to Carmichael?’
‘No, I’d forgotten about it.’
‘Then it ought to be all right. Even if they’ve searched your things, they won’t have seen any importance in an old scarf. All we’ve got to do is have your things collected.’
‘I’ve booked a room at the Tio - but do you want me to go back to the Olive Branch?’
Dakin looked at her with interest. ‘Are you scared?’
Victoria lifted her head. She had to earn her pay and show a brave face! ‘I’ll go if you like,’ she said with a determination she did not feel.
‘No. Someone learned why you were there. You’d better stay away.’ He smiled. ‘Otherwise you may be a redhead next time I see you.’
‘That’s what I want to know most of all,’ cried Victoria. ‘Why did they dye my hair? I can’t see any reason. Can you?’
‘Only so your dead body might be less easy to identify.’
‘But if they wanted me dead, why didn’t they kill me immediately?’
‘That’s the question I wish we could answer most of all, Victoria. And I haven’t got a clue.’
‘Talking of clues,’ said Victoria, ‘do you remember my saying that there was something about Sir Rupert Crofton Lee that didn’t seem right, that morning at the Tio?’
‘You didn’t know him personally, did you?’
‘I thought not. Because, you see, the man you met wasn’t Sir Rupert Crofton Lee.’
And she began another story, starting with the boil on Sir Rupert’s neck.
‘So that was how it was done,’ said Dakin. ‘Carmichael got safely to Crofton Lee, but it was the Crofton Lee impersonator who stabbed him. Victoria, I want you to write to Edward now. Say you’re at the Tio and ask him to bring your luggage. I’m going to see Dr Rathbone this morning about one of his meetings. It will be easy for me to quietly pass a note to his secretary personally - so there will be no danger of your enemy Catherine ‘losing’ it.’
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