- زمان مطالعه 14 دقیقه
- سطح ساده
دانلود اپلیکیشن «زیبوک»
این فصل را میتوانید به بهترین شکل و با امکانات عالی در اپلیکیشن «زیبوک» بخوانید
متن انگلیسی فصل
The Man with no Memory
“Who’s there? Who’s in this room?”
Washburn went quietly to the bed. He did not want to make a sudden noise or movement that could cause his patient new psychological damage. The next few minutes would be as important as the surgery that he had performed on the man many times during the past month.
“A friend,” he said softly. “You speak English. I thought you would. How do you feel?”
“I’m not sure.”
“You were brought here, to the French island of Ile de Port Noir, by fishermen who found you in the Mediterranean. You’d been shot, many times. I’m a doctor - your doctor. My name is Geoffrey Washburn. What’s yours?”
The stranger was silent for a minute. Then he turned and looked into the doctor’s eyes. “I don’t know,” he said.
“It will take time. Don’t fight it.”
“You’re drunk,” his patient said.
“I usually am,” Washburn agreed. “That’s why I lost my job in a London hospital and came here. But I’m a good doctor, and I saved your life. I’ve watched you, and I’ve listened to you. You speak English, French, and an Asian language - I don’t know which one. You’ve been violent - at times I’ve had to tie you to the bed to protect your wounds. And your face really interests me.”
“It’s been changed. You’ve had surgery to every part of it - eyes, nose, chin. And your hair is not your natural color.”
The stranger thought about this. “But why?” he said. “Think! What are you? What were you?”
“An international salesman? A teacher of languages?”
“No,” said Washburn. “Your body is strong. Your hands are strong. But you’re not a builder or a fisherman - you have a good mind and wide knowledge. When you were unconscious, you talked of places that I’ve never heard of.”
“What else have you learned about me?”
“I had to be sure that your mind was strong enough to accept this.” Washburn held up a small square of plastic. “I found this piece of film under your skin. It says: Die Bank Gemeinschaft, 11 Bahnhofstrasse, Zurich. 07-1712-0-14-260.”
“Exactly. The numbers are in your handwriting - they’re your signature for an account at a bank in Zurich.”
More time passed.
“There are no rules,” the doctor told him. “Amnesia can be physical - from a head wound - or psychological. I think, for you, it’s both. Your mind is protecting itself. But we’re making progress. We’re finding out what you do best.” He opened a closet and took out a gun. “Take this to pieces.” He threw it to the other man.
The patient looked at the gun. Then his fingers started moving, and in seconds the gun was in pieces.
“You see? You have experience - a lot of experience - of guns. You’re a professional, but not, I believe, a soldier. I’m thinking of the surgery to your face. Your skills, and your normal behavior, will slowly come back to you. But your physical brain is not what it was. I don’t know if it will ever connect those skills with your past. Your memories have been destroyed.”
The man sat silently. Then he said, “The answer’s in Zurich.”
“Yes, you’re strong enough now. I’ve made arrangements. There’s a boat here from Marseilles. The captain will leave you on a beach outside the city.”
The man with no memory looked at him. “So it’s time.”
“It’s time. I know what you’re feeling. A sense of helplessness because until now I’ve been your guide. But you’re not helpless, believe me. You will find your way.”
“To Zurich,” agreed the doctor. “Here - take this. Two thousand francs - all that I have. And my passport. We’re about the same age, and it’s eight years old. People change.”
“What will you do?”
“I won’t need it if I don’t hear from you. If I do, you’ll help me leave here - not just with money, but in ways you can’t imagine.”
“You’re a good man.”
“I think you are, too - as I’ve known you. I didn’t know you before. I can’t judge the man you were.”
There were no lights on the French coast. The captain pointed to a small beach.
“We can’t go closer. You’ll have to swim from here.”
“Thank you for helping me.”
“Don’t thank me. When you were brought in from the storm, three of my men were also hurt, on my boat. The doctor helped them. I had no fish, so no money. You’re my payment.”
“I need papers,” the man said, sensing that more help was possible. “I need a passport to be changed.”
The captain was silent. Then he said, “I’ll be in a cafe in Marseilles this evening, Le Bouc de Mer. You’ll need money for the papers.”
“That’s a matter for the man you’ll speak to there. A lot.”
The patient thought about the money from the doctor. It wouldn’t be enough. “I’ll be there,” he said.
Some time later, he walked through the narrow streets of the small coastal town. Money. He found the richest area.
In a store, he heard a conversation between the owner and a customer.
“Where’s the Marquis today?”
“Drunk, in the apartment above the cafe next door. Waiting for a woman. I had to drive him from the house without his wife seeing him. I’ve left his car here, but he won’t be able to drive it. I’ll come back later.”
The patient walked around the next-door building, looking through doors and windows and wondering which car belonged to the Marquis.
A woman arrived - an attractive woman in a very short skirt - and soon he saw her at an upstairs window. The patient went inside, took the stairs to the first floor and, in one quick movement, broke the door down.
“Nom de Dieu!” The man on the bed looked up in shock. “Did my wife hire you? I’ll pay you more!”
“Keep quiet,” said the patient, “and you won’t get hurt.”
He quickly put on the Marquis’s expensive clothes and took his money, watch, and car keys.
“Please leave me your clothes,” the Marquis cried.
“I’m sorry. I can’t do that.” He picked up his own and the woman’s clothes. Then he noticed a telephone on a desk by the window and pulled the wire from the wall.
“The police will find you,” the Marquis said angrily.
“I don’t think you’ll report a crime. How will you explain it to your wife?”
You’re not helpless. You will find your way. What kind of past produced the skills that were returning to him now?
He had difficulty with the controls in the Marquis’s Jaguar. He had, he thought, no past experience with cars like this. He followed the signs to Marseilles, and found a garage selling new and used expensive cars. Ten minutes later, he had exchanged the car for six thousand francs - about a fifth of its value, but no questions asked. Soon after that, he had sold the watch and bought clothes and a soft leather suitcase. Then he found a hotel and rested until it was time for his appointment at Le Bouc de Mer.
The patient made his way through the crowded tables of the cafe until he found the captain. There was another man at the table, thin and pale-faced with narrow eyes.
“How much to change this passport - by ten o’clock tomorrow?”
“Three and a half thousand francs. And I’ll need a photo.”
“I had one done on the way here.” The patient passed it to him.
A meeting was arranged for the next day, and the captain was given five hundred francs under the table. Then the patient walked toward the door.
It happened so quickly that there was no time to think. A man walked into him and then his eyes widened in disbelief.
“No! My God! It cannot… You’re dead!”
The patient’s hand seized his shoulder. “I lived. What do you know!”
The other man’s face was red and angry. He pulled out a knife. “I’ll finish it now,” he said.
The man with no memory brought his other hand down, hard, and kicked with all his strength. His attacker fell back and the knife was seen by the people around them.
“Take your argument outside, or we’ll call the police!”
The patient could not move in the crowd. His attacker ran, holding his stomach, out into the darkness of the street.
He thought I was dead - wanted me to be dead. And now he knows I’m alive.
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