- زمان مطالعه 5 دقیقه
- سطح خیلی سخت
دانلود اپلیکیشن «زیبوک»
این فصل را میتوانید به بهترین شکل و با امکانات عالی در اپلیکیشن «زیبوک» بخوانید
متن انگلیسی فصل
Chapter twenty three
Baghdad had been transformed. American and Russian Police lined the streets as the news went round. The President of the United States and the Russian leader were in Baghdad. They were in the Regent’s Palace.
At last the great Conference had begun.
‘What makes me sad,’ said Victoria, sitting on the terrace overlooking the river at the Tio Hotel, ‘is that poor woman who got killed in my place in Damascus.’
‘Oh! She’s all right,’ said Mr Dakin cheerfully. ‘As soon as your plane had taken off, we arrested the French woman and took Grete Harden to hospital. She was one of our people of course.’
‘Yes, when Anna Scheele disappeared, we thought it might be a good idea to give the other side something to think about. So we booked a ticket for Grete Harden - and gave her false papers showing she was Anna Scheele.’
‘And the real Anna Scheele came out as Mrs Pauncefoot Jones.’
‘Yes. Anna is a very clever young woman.’
‘I really thought I was going to die,’ said Victoria. ‘But your people were watching over me.’
‘All the time. Your Edward wasn’t quite so clever as he thought. Actually we had been watching Edward Goring for some time. When you told me your story, the night Carmichael was killed, I was very worried about you. The best thing I could think of was to send you in as a spy. If your Edward knew that you were in touch with me, you’d be reasonably safe. You’d be too valuable to kill because he’d be using you to find out what we were doing. And he could also pass on false information to us through you. But then you told him you knew about the false Rupert Crofton Lee, and Edward decided it would be better to keep you safely out of the way until you were needed for the impersonation of Anna Scheele. Yes, Victoria, you’re very lucky to be sitting where you are now.’
‘I know I am.’ Victoria looked at him steadily. ‘Next time I fall in love, it won’t be for excitement and good looks. I’d like a real man - not one who says pretty things to me. I don’t mind if he’s bald or wears glasses. I’d like him to be interesting - and know about interesting things.’
‘About thirty-five or fifty-five?’ asked Mr Dakin.
Victoria looked surprised. ‘Oh, thirty-five.’
‘I am so happy. I thought for a moment you were offering to marry me.’
Victoria laughed. ‘And was there a message knitted into the scarf?’
‘There was a name. The scarf and the chit were the two halves of the clue. The scarf gave us the name of Sheikh Hussein el Ziyara of Kerbela. He and Carmichael had been friends since they were children. The chit, when treated with chemicals, gave us the code words to persuade the Sheikh to give us Carmichael’s proof - a packet of microfilms.’
‘And it was carried through the country by those two wandering cinema men - the ones we actually met?’
‘Yes. They met him when he came down from the mountains. He spent four days crossing the desert in their company. Simple, well-known men. Nothing political about them. Just Carmichael’s friends. He had a lot of friends.’
‘He must have been very nice. I’m sorry he’s dead.’
‘If there’s another life after this, and I fully believe that there is,’ said Mr Dakin, ‘he’ll have the satisfaction of knowing that his courage has saved this sad old world from a fresh attack of war and misery. All the evidence that he and Sir Rupert and Anna Scheele collected is now before the President of America and the Premier of the USSR.’
‘It’s strange, isn’t it,’ said Victoria thoughtfully, ‘that Richard had one half of the secret and I had the other. It almost seems as though…’
‘As though it were meant to be,’ finished Mr Dakin with a twinkle in his eye. ‘And what are you going to do next, may I ask?’
‘I will have to find a job,’ said Victoria. ‘I must start looking.’
‘Don’t look too hard,’ said Mr Dakin. ‘I think a job is coming towards you.’
He walked away to make room for Richard Baker.
‘Look here, Victoria,’ said Richard. ‘Venetia Savile can’t come out to the dig after all. Apparently she’s ill. You were quite useful out there. Would you like to come back? We can only offer to pay for your food, I’m afraid. And probably your passage back to England - but we’ll talk about that later. Well, what do you say?’
‘Oh, do you really want me?’ cried Victoria.
For some reason Richard Baker went very pink in the face. ‘I think,’ he said, ‘we could find you - er - very useful.’
‘I’d love that,’ replied Victoria.
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