- زمان مطالعه 12 دقیقه
- سطح متوسط
دانلود اپلیکیشن «زیبوک»
این فصل را میتوانید به بهترین شکل و با امکانات عالی در اپلیکیشن «زیبوک» بخوانید
متن انگلیسی فصل
Death at Sea
They climbed up the steps past an open door near the ceiling. Mr Big stopped to rest for a moment, then up they went again. Bond counted more than eighty steps before they reached the top, where there was a metal door. Mr Big unlocked the door and opened it, and Bond and his guard followed him through into a long narrow room. There were metal shackles low down in the walls. A light hung down from the roof at the far end. There was someone lying under it, under a blanket.
‘Solitaire, ‘ said Mr Big softly.
Bond started to move forward, but the guard moved quickly and stopped him. Then Mr Big turned round. He had a small gun in his hand. He pointed it at Bond.
‘You can let him go,’ Mr Big told Bond’s guard.
Bond went past Mr Big. Solitaire was on her feet and moving towards him. She saw his face and began to run.
‘James!’ she cried. ‘James!’
They held each other.
‘Get me some rope,’ said Mr Big.
‘It’s all right, Solitaire,’ said Bond, but he knew that everything was not all right. ‘I’m here now.’
Solitaire was very pale and there were black circles under her eyes. She wore a dirty white suit and looked thin. She saw the blood on his shoulder and down his arm. ‘Oh, my darling, what is it?’ she said, and started to cry.
‘Tie them up,’ said Mr Big.
The black guard came towards them with rope in his hands. For a second or two, Bond thought about attacking him.
‘No, Mr Bond,’ Mr Big said simply.
The guard tied Bond’s arms behind his back.
‘Over there,’ said Mr Big. He pointed at one of the shackles.
The guard knocked Bond’s legs from under him, and Bond fell onto his injured shoulder. The guard pulled him across to the shackle, then put the rope through the shackle and down to Bond’s legs. He tied them together. Then he walked back to Solitaire and tied her to a shackle opposite Bond.
Mr Big looked at his watch. ‘Go,’ he told the guard. He closed the big door behind the man, then turned to Bond. ‘Four of my men have died because of you. My people are beginning to question my power, so something must be done. What happened to the American was not enough, so you and the girl can die together.’ He looked at his watch again. ‘In two-and-a-half hours, at six o’clock, you will be tied together. Then you’ll be pulled through the sea behind the yacht when it leaves. The coral reef will cut you into pieces, and the sharks will smell the blood. They’ll finish the job for me.’
Bond looked at him. ‘You’re a big man,’ he said. ‘And one day you’ll die a big and terrible death. If you kill us, that death will come very fast. I’ve arranged for it to happen.’ His mind was working fast while he spoke. He was thinking of the timed fuse in the limpet mine and counting hours and minutes. But would he and Solitaire be dead before that time came? He smiled at her, but she did not seem to see him.
Suddenly, she shouted, ‘I don’t know. I can’t see. It’s so near, so close. There is much death, but…’
‘Solitaire!’ shouted Bond. ‘Stop!’
He was afraid that the strange things she saw in the future might give a warning to Mr Big. She looked strangely back at Bond, but said nothing.
‘Nothing you have arranged can hurt me, Mr Bond,’ said Mr Big. He stood in the doorway and looked at them. ‘I’ll leave you now. A short, but very good night to you both.’
It was not yet light when the guards came for Bond and Solitaire. Their leg ropes were cut and they were taken up to the open ground above. They stood by some trees, and Bond breathed in the cool morning air. As they stood waiting, they saw men walking past carrying things. Everyone was leaving the island.
Bond moved nearer to Solitaire. After Mr Big had left them, he had told her about the limpet mine. It would explode a few minutes after six o’clock, so it was important that the Secatur sailed at six. If they were still on the jetty beside the boat, they would be killed with Mr Big.
Bond guessed that they would be pulled along at least seventy yards behind the yacht. The Secatur would go through the reef before them. With luck, the mine would explode before he and Solitaire reached the reef and were cut to pieces. But would they be killed by the explosion?
They had talked all night and held each other. ‘Don’t worry about me,’ Solitaire had told him. ‘I’m not afraid, although there is much death very close. Do you love me a little?’
‘Yes,’ Bond had told her. ‘I do.’
It was getting lighter now, and Bond could hear the sound of the boat’s engines. Mr Big appeared with a briefcase in his hand. He looked up at the sky and said in a loud voice, Thank you, Bloody Morgan. We’ll spend your treasure well!’ He turned towards the guards, who were staring at him. ‘Is everything on the boat?’ he asked.
‘Yes, Sir,’ replied one of the men.
‘Then take them down,’ Mr Big said.
The guards took Bond and Solitaire to the edge of the cliff and down the steps. Mr Big followed them. There were two men on the jetty standing next to the yacht’s ropes.
‘Tie something round Mr Bond’s shoulder. I don’t want any blood in the water yet,’ Mr Big told Bond’s guard.
One of the guards cut some of Solitaire’s skirt off and used it for Bond’s shoulder. He cut their hands free then pushed them together, face to face. Their arms were put round each other and then they were both tied tightly together. One end of some of the rope on the jetty was tied to the back of the Secatur. The other end was tied to Solitaire and Bond.
For a moment, Bond could see Mr Big’s watch. It was five minutes to six.
Mr Big looked at them. ‘Their legs can stay free,’ he said, and he stepped onto the yacht. He went to the back of the boat and sat where he would be able to see Bond and Solitaire.
The two guards went on board. The two men on the jetty untied the yacht’s ropes and followed. Moments later, the Secatur moved away from the island.
‘Look out!’ said Bond as he saw the rope disappearing fast into the water. Bond and Solitaire were suddenly pulled off the jetty and into the sea. For a second, they both went under the water and then they were up again. The water was rushing past them and they were pulled through the waves.
‘Breathe, breathe!’ shouted Bond. ‘Put your legs between mine!’
After a time, the boat’s speed dropped as the Secatur moved slowly through the reef. Suddenly, Bond felt the rope tighten again.
‘Breathe, Solitaire, breathe!’ he shouted, as they started to speed through the water once more. It must be after six o’clock now. What had happened to the mine?
They were only about thirty yards from the reef now. Now twenty… ten…
Suddenly, the breath was knocked from his body. Solitaire and Bond went right up out of the sea before falling back again. The sky lit up with the huge explosion.
They stopped moving through the waves and Bond felt the heavy rope pulling them under the water. He pushed hard with his legs and they came to the surface. Solitaire’s head was on his shoulder and her eyes were shut.
The reef had protected them from the explosion, but now the sea was pulling them towards it. Suddenly, Bond felt the sharp coral against the back of his legs and arms. There was something sharp under his feet, and he pushed against it. His feet were on the coral and then he felt the pain of a rock pushing into his back.
He rested for a minute. Solitaire was breathing thinly. There was blood in the water around him, but he guessed that the big fish would not come into the sharp reef.
He looked out to sea. The Secatur was gone, and a great cloud of smoke was blowing towards the land. There were pieces of the boat all over the water. He saw dead fish and parts of men’s bodies.
Bond saw the head of a huge fish come out of the water. It dived down onto something. There was a long and terrible scream, then two black arms suddenly went up into the air and disappeared again.
Two men started to swim towards the reef. One stopped, his hands splashing the water wildly before they disappeared under the surface. He began to scream as he was attacked under the water. The other man was getting nearer to Bond and Solitaire. Bond saw a large head with blood pouring down over its face. It was Mr Big.
His eyes were wide open and staring madly as he swam towards Bond. Suddenly, he gave a scream of pain and his head went under the water and came up again. There was a cloud of dark blood in the sea around him. Two large black shadows moved out of the cloud, then raced back again. Half of Mr Big’s left arm came out of the water. It had no hand on it, but the great head was still alive and screaming.
The head went under once more. When it came to the surface again, its mouth was closed. The yellow eyes still seemed to look at Bond, but they were dead eyes. Then the shark’s head came up and its open mouth came down on the head. There was a horrible crunch, then both head and shark went under the water for the last time. There was silence.
Bond went on staring at the blood-red water for several seconds. Then Solitaire made a small noise and there was a shout from behind him. Bond turned and saw canoes coming towards him - and Quarrel was in the front canoe, yards ahead of the rest.
For the first time since his childhood, Bond felt tears come into his blue-grey eyes. They were tears of happiness and relief. He looked across at the soft green hills of Jamaica. A fresh, north-easterly wind had started to blow and the sun was beginning to shine down on the water. Life was suddenly very good.
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