فصل 11

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فصل 11

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متن انگلیسی فصل

CHAPTER ELEVEN

The Dragon

The sun wasn’t quite so hot now. As the air became cooler, insects and frogs started to call and sing.

‘It must be after four o’clock,’ said Bond. He was guessing the time. His watch was no longer working. ‘We’ll reach the lake in about an hour from now. We’ll make a camp there. We’ll be safer when darkness comes.’

‘James, why is everyone trying to kill you?’ Honey asked him. ‘You haven’t told me the truth about yourself, have you? You aren’t here because of the spoonbills. Nobody takes a gun to study birds! And Doctor No’s men are hunting you. Why? What are you doing here? Are you some kind of policeman?’

‘I’m sorry, Honey,’ Bond replied. ‘I’m sorry that I’ve led you into danger. I’ll tell you all about it this evening. But - yes, I am a kind of policeman. I work for the British government. I’ve come here to find out why two men from a bird sanctuary have died.

‘We should be safe if we camp on the east side of the lake this evening,’ Bond went on. ‘It’s quite a large lake, and we’ll see the hunters moving round the edges of it if they come. We’ll have time to get away.’

‘We can escape from the hunters,’ Honey said. ‘But perhaps Doctor No’s dragon will come for us. The dragon can go through the water - I’ve seen it swim.’

Bond laughed. ‘Oh, the dragon! Well, perhaps the dragon will have an injured tail,’ he said. ‘Perhaps it’ll have to stay at home tonight.’

‘You won’t laugh when you see it, James,’ Honey said.

A few hours later, Bond, Quarrel and Honey made a camp amongst some trees near the lake. Bond cleaned and dried the Smith and Wesson with his shirt. Quarrel dried the rifle. The girl tried to dry the food which had been in the men’s backpacks. The food had got very wet when the fugitives were hiding in the river. But they couldn’t make a fire, because it would be seen by Doctor No’s hunters.

While the food was drying, Bond explored the edge of the lake near the camp. He saw some tracks in the mud which surprised him. They looked like the marks made by very large wheels. But Bond didn’t understand what could have made the tracks. They were bigger than any wheel tracks he’d ever seen.

After he’d returned to the camp, Bond, Quarrel and Honey ate the cold food. Then Bond and the girl got ready to sleep. Quarrel was going to watch the lake.

Bond and Honey sat together in the dark. Bond could feel the warmth of the girl’s beautiful body beside him.

‘Tell me about your family, Honey,’ Bond said.

‘My family was poor,’ the girl replied. ‘We didn’t have much money. My mother and father worked for a British man. He wasn’t a kind man. Both my parents died when I was five years old. Then an old Jamaican woman looked after me.’ For a moment, the girl’s voice became angry. ‘When I was fifteen, the British man wanted me to be his girlfriend. I didn’t want that, but he wouldn’t listen to me. He attacked me one night and he hurt me.’

Then suddenly her voice became quieter and softer. ‘That man is dead now,’ she said to Bond. ‘He can’t hurt me again.’

‘He’s dead?’ Bond replied. ‘How did that happen?’

‘I killed him,’ the girl said. ‘I know all about the animals that live in these islands. I know where they hide and what they can do. One hot evening, I caught a spider - a Black Widow. It’s a very poisonous kind of spider. The man always slept with his window open when it was warm. So that night, I went to his house. I dropped the spider through the window, into his bedroom.

‘In the morning, the man was very ill,’ the girl went on. ‘He must have been bitten by the spider. A week later he was dead.’

Before he fell asleep, Bond thought about the centipede that someone had put into his hotel room. It was good to know about poisonous creatures if you wanted to kill someone in this part of the world.

It was about midnight when the dragon came.

Quarrel heard it first. It was smashing and breaking the trees on the other side of the lake. As it moved forward, the thing made a terrible roaring noise. Quarrel ran towards Bond and the girl and woke them. They all looked out from the trees, waiting for something to happen. Then suddenly, they saw the dragon on the other side of the lake.

There was no moon shining in the sky - the only light was from the stars. But they could just see the shape of an enormous animal with a long neck and two wings.

The dragon moved into the water and started to cross the lake towards the fugitives at great speed. It had huge, very bright, eyes. Every few seconds, flames shot out of its mouth.

‘Oh, James, the dragon is coming for us!’ Honey said. ‘You didn’t believe me. Now you can see it for yourself.’

But Bond quickly understood what the dragon was. And he understood the tracks that he’d seen in the mud too.

‘It’s not an animal, Honey,’ he told the girl. ‘It’s a machine! It’s head and body are made of metal. They’re fixed to a kind of tractor. The roaring noise is the sound of the tractor’s engine. It has huge wheels, so it can move easily in swamps. It can cross rivers and lakes if they’re not too deep. The dragon’s eyes are really the tractor’s headlights. And inside the head, there’s a flame-thrower - a gun that shoots burning liquid.

‘People use flames-throwers to destroy trees, bushes and grass,’ Bond continued. ‘But soldiers also use them to destroy their enemies. Doctor No uses the dragon to frighten people away from his island. And he uses it to kill people who can’t be frightened. It was this machine which frightened and killed the spoonbills. It also killed the wardens who used to live in the bird sanctuary!’

The terrible killing machine had almost reached the trees where the three people were hiding. Quarrel, who had been listening to Bond’s words, suddenly ran forward.

‘You stay here with the girl, captain!’ he shouted to Bond. ‘I’ll try to stop the dragon.’

Quarrel was a very brave man, but he didn’t have a chance against the machine. He fired the rifle at the dragon as he got close to it and one of its eyes disappeared! But then a huge flame shot out of its mouth. Quarrel screamed as the flames hit him. A moment later, his burnt body lay on the edge of the lake.

Honey cried out and tears ran down her face. Bond was shocked and very angry. His good friend had tried to help them and he had died in a terrible way.

The dragon stopped about six feet from Bond and Honey’s hiding-place. The sky was lighter now. And Bond could now see that the vehicle was coloured with red, black and gold paint. It looked like a dragon in a Chinese picture. A loud voice came from the vehicle. Its driver was speaking through a loudhailer.

‘Surrender now, or I’ll kill you too!’ the voice said. ‘Throw down your weapons on the ground. You have ten seconds to surrender.’

‘We have no choice, Honey,’ Bond said quietly to the girl. ‘We have to surrender. Come on!’

The two of them walked to the edge of the lake and Bond threw down his gun. He tried not to look at the burnt body of his friend, lying in the mud.

A door opened in the back of the dragon and two men got out of the vehicle. They were both strong Afro-Chinese men. The tallest man held a machine-gun. The other man was carrying two pairs of handcuffs.

‘Don’t try to escape,’ the man with the gun said. ‘I’ve killed your friend. I’d be happy to kill you too. But Doctor No wants to talk to you. If you both come with us quietly and calmly, you might still be alive tomorrow. If you try to escape, I’ll kill you now - both of you!’

The tall man kept his gun pointed at Bond, while the second man put a pair of handcuffs around the girl’s wrists. Then he put handcuffs around Bond’s wrists too.

The two men pushed their prisoners inside the tractor and a moment later, the tall man started the engine.

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