فصل 14

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فصل 14

توضیح مختصر

  • زمان مطالعه 11 دقیقه
  • سطح ساده

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متن انگلیسی فصل

CHAPTER FOURTEEN

The Obstacle Course

Bond looked more carefully around the little stone room.

The door was made of strong metal and there was no handle on it. Above the door, there was a small window made of very thick glass. He wasn’t going to escape that way! But high up on one wall, in a corner, there was a ventilation grille. The grille was made of thick wire and Bond could feel cool air coming through it. The grille covered a circular opening which was wider than Bond’s shoulders.

‘Well, that grille covers a ventilation shaft,’ Bond said to himself. ‘I guess that the shaft leads onto the obstacle course. I must hurry. Doctor No’s men must have taken Honey out onto the mountainside already.’

Bond took off the kimono and quickly put on his own clothes. He looked at the cigarette lighter and the knife. Perhaps he could use these two things as weapons. They might be useful during the ordeal that he was going to endure. But then he saw that the frame of the grille was made from one long piece of wire. If he could pull the grille away from the wall and straighten the wire frame, perhaps he could make a spear from it.

Bond put the lighter in his pocket. Then, holding the knife in his teeth, he moved the chair. He put it against the wall, just under the grille. He stood on the chair and grasped the metal grille with his right hand. There was a flash of blue light. Bond felt a terrible pain in his arm and he was thrown backwards off the chair. His head hit the stone floor and for a few moments he was unconscious.

Bond woke up. There was a smell of burning skin in the air. Bond looked at his right hand. A red mark across his fingers showed where the grille had burnt him. The grille had been electrified! And as he looked at the burn, he started to feel pain in his hand.

Then he thought about Honey Rider. She was on the mountainside, waiting for the crabs to come. He had to get out of this room!

‘Doctor No doesn’t want me to die here,’ Bond told himself. ‘That was just the beginning of my ordeal. That was the first physical obstacle - pain. Has the doctor turned off the electricity now? I think that he’ll let me go on. He wants me to endure different kinds of pain. Now, this is one of his mental obstacles. Will I be able to touch the grille again? Or am I too frightened of the electricity? He wants to know if I’ve lost my nerve. Well, I haven’t!’

Bond cut a piece of cloth from the kimono and wrapped it around his injured hand. Then he climbed onto the chair again and he grasped the grille with his left hand. There was no flash this time. He pulled the grille with all his strength. After a moment, the whole frame came away from the wall. He grasped the electric cable which was attached to the frame and he tore it away. Then he started to pull the wire frame off the grille.

Soon, Bond had pulled the wire frame straight. He had made it into a simple spear, about four feet long. At one end, there was a sharp point. Bond bent a few inches of the wire to make a hook at the other end. Then he bent the spear in half, and he pushed it down inside one leg of his jeans. Now the hook was on the outside, over his belt.

Bond put the knife between his teeth again. Then he jumped up onto the chair and pulled himself up through the circular opening in the wall. A moment later, Bond was inside the horizontal ventilation shaft. The shaft was about four inches wider than Bond’s shoulders and it was made of shiny, slippery metal. When he lit his cigarette lighter for a few moments, Bond saw that the shaft continued straight ahead.

Lying flat on his stomach, Bond began to crawl forwards. The air in the shaft was cool. Soon, Bond knew, something else would happen to him. He would reach another obstacle. But his enemy didn’t want him to die yet. Doctor No wanted to know how much pain Bond could endure. Bond was sure that there would be several more obstacles before the end of the course. Perhaps he would die at one of them. Or perhaps he would reach the end of the course.

‘But what then?’ Bond asked himself. ‘If I’m still alive at the end of the course, Doctor No will try to kill me.’

‘So, is there any hope for me?’ Bond thought, as he crawled forward. ‘Doctor No wants me to believe that there’s no hope. That’s another one of his mental obstacles. But he doesn’t know about my three weapons. And he doesn’t understand how strong my feelings are. I want to stay alive and kill him!’

After a few minutes, Bond reached the end of the horizontal shaft. Now there seemed to be a light shining above him. Bond turned over carefully, so that he was lying on his back. Above his head, there was another shaft of bright metal - a vertical shaft. There was a light far away at the top of this shaft. Bond guessed that the shaft was about 50 yards high.

Carefully, Bond stood up. Could he climb up this smooth, vertical shaft? He thought that he could. He took off his shoes. Then he took a deep breath of air and pressed his shoulders against the sides of the shaft. While his elbows held his body still, he pulled his legs up a few inches. Then he pressed his feet against the sides of the shaft. His feet held him in his new position while he pulled in his shoulders and straightened his legs. This movement pushed his body a little higher up the shaft. The bare skin on his hands and feet stuck to the metal walls of the shaft. It stopped him slipping back down.

Moving like this, about six inches each time, Bond slowly climbed up the shaft. It was painful and tiring. The muscles in Bond’s stomach, arms and legs began to shake. When he was about halfway up, his feet began to slip on the shiny metal. He had slipped about a yard back down the shaft before he could stop himself. He realized what the problem was. He was getting hot and his hands and feet were wet with sweat. So he closed his eyes and he stayed in the same place for ten minutes, until he was cooler. Then, very carefully, he wiped each foot on the cloth of his trouser legs, and started to climb again.

It seemed a very long time before Bond reached the top of the shaft. When he did reach it, he noticed two things. First, he could feel cold air on the left side of his face. Then he saw that the light, which he had seen while he was climbing, came from a glass window. The window was the ceiling of the shaft.

After a few moments, Bond realized that the cold air came from another horizontal shaft which joined the vertical one here. He would be able to pull himself into it. When he did that, he would be able to lie flat for a while and rest. His feet and arms and shoulders were terribly painful. But after a rest, he could continue on the obstacle course.

Using the last of his strength, Bond pulled himself into the new shaft, and turned onto his back. For a few minutes he lay there, unable to move. Then suddenly, he fell asleep.

Bond woke slowly. He didn’t know how long he had been sleeping. But he knew that he felt a little stronger now. It was time for him to move on to the next obstacle. Before he turned onto his stomach, he looked up at the window in the ceiling. Someone was behind the glass, watching him.

Bond said something very rude about Doctor No. The person couldn’t hear what Bond said. But Bond hoped that the person saw the shapes of the words on Bond’s lips and understood them.

A moment later, Bond was crawling along the new shaft. Like the first shaft, this one was dark. There were no lights or windows in it. After a few minutes, Bond realized that the metal walls of the shaft were getting hot. The further he went on, the hotter the metal became. And the air was no longer cool - it was hot!

Bond came to a place where the shaft went around a corner. He lit his cigarette lighter and slowly put his head round the corner. What he saw made him pull his head back. The metal walls of the shaft ahead of him weren’t shiny. They were dull and red with heat. So heat was to be the next ordeal! How could he crawl along this hot metal? He would be terribly burned.

‘What shall I do?’ he thought. ‘I could go back. I could go back to the room with the chair. If I go back, I know that I’ll die there. But if I go on, perhaps I’ll escape.’

‘Doctor No doesn’t want me to die yet,’ Bond told himself. ‘He’s testing me again. He wants me to endure some more physical ordeals before I die. So this metal won’t be too hot. The heat will injure me, but it won’t kill me.’

He thought about the metal burning his skin. And then he thought about the beautiful girl. Honey was waiting on the mountainside for the crabs to attack her. He couldn’t go back now!

Bond took his knife from between his teeth and cut some pieces of cloth from the front of his shirt. He tied the cloth around his hands and feet. For a short time, the pieces of cloth would protect his hands and feet. His shirt would protect his shoulders and the legs of his jeans would protect his knees for a short time, too. He put the knife in his mouth and crawled forward. He tried to keep his bare skin away from the hot metal.

Bond moved as fast as he could. But soon the cloth around his hands and feet started to burn. The cloth on the knees of his jeans started to burn too. Only the sweat which was running down his arms and legs stopped the cloth from bursting into flames.

‘Keep going! Keep going! Keep going!’ he told himself.

The metal became hotter and hotter. With each movement, the pain became worse. And each time that he moved, Bond screamed. He could smell his skin burning. But he knew that he had to go on until his skin was burned from his bones.

Suddenly, his head hit something. It was a thin metal door. And as Bond’s head touched it, the door moved aside. He crawled past it and suddenly everything changed. Here, the metal walls of the shaft were cool. Ice-cold air was blowing all around him.

Bond fell forward. His eyes closed. He couldn’t see or hear anything. He was unconscious.

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