فصل 06

مجموعه: جیمز باند / کتاب: الماس ها ابدی هستند / فصل 6

فصل 06

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  • زمان مطالعه 6 دقیقه
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دانلود اپلیکیشن «زیبوک»

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متن انگلیسی فصل

CHAPTER Six

Shady Tree

Bond and his bags went through customs easily at New York’s Idlewild Airport. A porter took his suitcase and golf clubs and followed him through the airport. Bond was near the exit doors when he heard his name.

‘Mr Bond? I have a car for you.’

Bond turned to see a tall man with a narrow face and mean- looking eyes. They walked outside into the hot early-morning sun. Bond saw something square in the man’s trouser pocket. It was about the size and shape of a small gun.

The car was a black Oldsmobile Sedan. Bond climbed into the front seat. He did not wait to be told where to sit. The porter put his suitcase and golf bag in the back.

They drove through the traffic to Manhattan. The car stopped in West 46th Street - the diamond district of New York. They were outside a smart-looking shop with the name ‘House of Diamonds’ above the door. Bond took his small case and reached for the golf clubs.

‘I’ll take those,’ said the driver. ‘You take the suitcase.’

Bond followed the driver to a small door at the side of the shop. Inside was a man in a porter’s room.

‘Can we leave the bags with you?’ the driver asked him.

‘Sure,’ said the man. ‘They’ll be OK here.’

The driver waited for Bond to get into the lift. The driver carried the golf bag over his shoulder and they went up to the fourth floor in silence. The driver knocked on a door opposite the lift and opened it. Bond followed him inside. A man with bright red hair and a big, moon-shaped face was sitting at a desk. He stood up as they came in. He was a hunchback.

He walked slowly round Bond, then stood in front of him and looked up into his face. Bond looked calmly back at the hunchback, seeing the big ears, the half-open mouth, and the short, strong arms.

The hunchback’s voice was sharp and high. ‘London tells me that you have killed a man, Mr Bond. I believe them. Would you like to do more work for us?’

‘Perhaps,’ answered Bond. ‘How much do you pay?’

The hunchback laughed, then turned to the driver. ‘Rocky, get those balls out of the bag and cut them open.’ He quickly shook his arm and a knife appeared from the arm of his coat and dropped into his hand. ‘A throwing knife,’ thought Bond, ‘and he’s fast.’ The hunchback sat down behind his desk again.

Rocky took the knife and put the six new golf balls on the desk. He cut one of them open and put it on the desk. The hunchback took out three uncut diamonds. The driver went on with his work until Bond had counted eighteen stones on the desk. If the stones were good quality, they could be sold for about one hundred thousand pounds after cutting.

‘OK, Rocky,’ said the hunchback. ‘Take the golf clubs and this man’s bags to the Astor Hotel. He’s staying there. Send them up to his room.’

After the driver had left, Bond sat in a chair opposite the hunchback. He lit a cigarette.

‘Now, if you are happy, I’d like my five thousand dollars,’ Bond said.

The hunchback slowly moved the diamonds in front of him into a circle. He looked up at Bond. ‘You will be paid,’ he said. ‘And you may get more than five thousand dollars. But you’ll get the money yourself, because it’s safer. It is very dangerous for a man to suddenly have a lot of money. He talks about it and spends it without being careful. Then the police catch him and ask him where it all came from. He hasn’t got an answer. Right?’

‘OK,’ said Bond. ‘How do I get the five thousand dollars?’

‘I’ll tell you a story,’ said the hunchback. ‘Today you met your friend Mr Tree. That’s me. You knew me in England in 1945, just after the war. OK?’

‘OK,’ said Bond.

‘I owed you money for a card game that we had at the Savoy Hotel in London. Right? When we met today, I paid you. So now you have one thousand dollars. Here’s the money.’ The hunchback took ten one hundred-dollar notes from his pocket and pushed them across the desk.

Bond put them in his coat pocket.

‘You decide to go and see some horse racing in Saratoga,’ continued the hunchback. ‘You put a bet on a horse and win another four thousand dollars. Now you have five thousand dollars. Now if anybody asks, “Where did it come from?” you have answers.’

‘Maybe the horse will lose the race,’ said Bond.

‘It won’t.’ The hunchback smiled.

‘Good,’ said Bond. ‘I’d like to stay away from England for a while. Do you need any extra help?’

The hunchback looked silently at Bond.

‘Maybe,’ he said after a few moments. ‘Phone me after the race. This is my number. Write it down. Wisconsin 73697. And write this down, too. Fourth race on Tuesday - the Perpetuities Stakes. Put your bet on Shy Smile to win. He’s a big horse with a white face and white feet.’

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