- زمان مطالعه 9 دقیقه
- سطح متوسط
دانلود اپلیکیشن «زیبوک»
این فصل را میتوانید به بهترین شکل و با امکانات عالی در اپلیکیشن «زیبوک» بخوانید
متن انگلیسی فصل
Food for the Barracudas
The heavy limpet mine was tied to Bond’s chest and carried him straight to the bottom of the sea. He was carrying the harpoon gun in his left hand, but he travelled fast through the water. He was warm in the frogman’s suit and breathed easily with the help of the compressed air.
It took him fifteen minutes to swim through fifty yards of the dangerously sharp coral reef, which was full of all sorts of sea life. He stopped and rested for a short time at the edge of the reef. Suddenly, he felt something moving tightly around both of his legs. It was an octopus.
Bond tried to swim away, but the octopus was stronger than he had expected. In a moment he would be pulled down flat onto his face. Then it might be impossible to fight the octopus with the heavy mine on his chest and the air bottle on his back.
Bond quickly pulled the dagger from his belt and tried to attack the octopus between his legs. But then he was turned over onto his back and was lying on the sand. At that moment, he remembered the harpoon gun and reached for it. He pulled the trigger. Immediately a thick, black cloud came from the octopus’s body. One of Bond’s legs came free, and then the other. He pulled hard on the harpoon line and another black cloud poured towards him - the harpoon was free.
Bond was breathing heavily. Above him, a stream of air bubbles went up to the surface of the water. Bond swore, afraid that they might be seen from the yacht, but there was nothing he could do.
He swam forwards. There were shadows of big fish on the moonlit sand, some as long as himself. One shadow followed beside him, and he looked up to see a shark. Its nose was following Bond’s line of air bubbles. After about a minute, it moved away.
Then there were large barracudas moving above him and looking down out of their angry eyes. They were interested in him and his bubbles and followed him silently. There were about twenty of them by the time Bond was near the island.
Suddenly, Bond could see the bottom of the Secatur above him. He looked at his watch. It was three minutes past eleven o’clock. He took a seven-hour fuse from his side pocket and pushed it into the limpet mine. The rest of the fuses he buried in the sand. He did not want them to be found if he was caught.
After this, he swam up, carrying the mine between his hands. He fixed it as carefully as he could to the bottom of the Secatur and turned to swim towards some rocks. Then he saw what was happening behind him.
The barracudas seemed to be going crazy. They were swimming round in circles like mad dogs, and three sharks were moving quickly between them in the water. Bond was hit in the face and knocked again and again. At any moment, his rubber suit would be torn and his skin broken and bleeding. Then the barracudas would smell the blood and be attacking him in seconds.
He swam fast along the bottom of the boat with his harpoon gun ready. Suddenly, the sea above him turned red. Pieces of something floated down towards him. He caught a piece and looked at it.
Up above, someone was throwing dead fish and pouring blood into the water. Now Bond understood why there were so many barracudas and sharks around the island. Mr Big was feeding them. They were his protection against people who wanted to have a look around, three of whom had already been half-eaten by the fish.
Something hit Bond hard on his left shoulder, and a large barracuda swam away with a piece of black rubber in its mouth. Bond felt no pain as he swam wildly towards the rocks. But blood was coming from his shoulder, and water was starting to come in between the rubber frogman’s suit and his skin.
He was just about to swim up to the water’s surface when he saw a wide hole in the rocks in front of him. A large rock lay on its side next to it, and Bond swam behind the rock.
He turned in time to see the barracuda coming towards him again. He fired the harpoon gun and hit the fish in the centre of its open mouth. The fish stopped and tried to close its mouth, then it swam away taking the gun, the line and harpoon with it.
Now Bond saw the cave that the large rock had been hiding. He swam through the opening for several yards, then stood up on soft sand. He shone his torch on the sides and ceiling of the cave. He guessed that it had been dug outwards from somewhere in the centre of the island. Probably by Bloody Morgan’s men.
The big rock had been there to cover the entrance. The Shark Bay fisherman who had disappeared six months ago must have found it. Perhaps a bad storm had moved it. Then the fisherman had found the treasure and had gone to Mr Big for help selling it. That had been a big mistake. Bond guessed that the fisherman had been killed and thrown into the Harlem River.
Bond guessed that his air bubbles had been seen, but he had to go on. He had to stop Solitaire getting on the boat. He looked at his watch. Half an hour after midnight. He felt the Beretta under his rubber suit. Had it been damaged by water?
He moved on into the cave, shining the torch in front of him. After about ten yards, there was a small light in the water ahead of him. He switched off the torch and moved towards it. There was a wide, shining pool beyond the end of the cave. Its white, sandy bottom was as bright as day. Bond stopped near the edge of the pool, in the shadows.
He tried to think. Suddenly, he saw a thin stream of his blood moving into the pool from his shoulder. He had forgotten the injury from the barracuda, but now it began to hurt.
Suddenly, there was a big splash from the pool and two men were swimming towards him with knives in their hands. Before Bond could reach his own knife, they had pulled him up to the surface of the pool and out onto flat sand. His rubber suit was pulled off him, leaving him in swimming shorts.
Bond looked up and saw Mr Big sitting behind a small table. He had a pen in one hand, and there were papers on the table. He looked calm and bored.
‘Good morning, Mr Bond,’ he said. ‘You took a long time coming. We saw your air bubbles some time ago.’
Bond was in a cave as big as a church. The pool covered half the floor. Then there was the narrow bit of sand he was standing on, and the rest of the floor was smooth, flat rock. Some steps went up behind Mr Big, and there were bright lights on the walls.
A group of men stood to Bond’s left, watching him. There were hundreds of gold coins round their feet and rows of wooden trays beside them. Some trays were on the floor, and partly filled with coins. A man had stopped at the bottom of the steps. He was carrying a full tray of coins. In the left corner of the cave, two men stood next to a large metal pot. The pot was hanging over a fire. Beside it were gold cups, plates and other things made of gold. Along the wall near them were rows of metal trays, each one filled with flat, bright gold.
Mr Big got up slowly from the table and walked over to the steps in the rock. He started to climb.
‘Bring Mr Bond up,’ he said.
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