- زمان مطالعه 7 دقیقه
- سطح متوسط
دانلود اپلیکیشن «زیبوک»
این فصل را میتوانید به بهترین شکل و با امکانات عالی در اپلیکیشن «زیبوک» بخوانید
متن انگلیسی فصل
I was sitting in Sherlock Holmes’s rooms in Baker Street. He was looking at my boots.
‘Why Turkish?’ he asked.
‘They’re made in England,’ I replied. ‘I bought them yesterday.’
‘I can see that!’ he said. ‘Anyway, I didn’t mean your boots. I meant the bath. Why did you have a Turkish bath?’
‘It’s good for my health,’ I said. ‘I wanted a change.’
‘You shouldn’t let the assistants at the baths tie your boot laces. You tie them better yourself.’
I looked at my laces and saw the knot was in fact tied a little differently to the way I usually tied my knots.
‘Incredible!’ I thought. ‘He notices the smallest differences!’
‘If you really want a change, Watson, I have a job for you. You can go to Switzerland, all expenses paid. I have a case I must investigate there but I don’t want to go too far away. Besides, I prefer my housekeeper’s cooking to the food abroad. Mrs Hudson makes an excellent lunch, if you’d like to stay.’
‘Thank you,’ I replied. ‘But I can’t stop, I must go back home.’ Holmes ordered lunch anyway.
‘I think Scotland Yard would prefer to see me in London,’ he continued. ‘There’s one criminal in particular who will happily take advantage of my absence, but that is not something I can discuss at this moment.’
‘I’d like to hear more,’ I said.
‘Lady Frances Carfax,’ he began, ‘the daughter of the late Earl of Rufton, is around forty years old. She is very beautiful for her age. She has the advantage of wealth and the disadvantage of having none of her own. Her brother owns the family home whereas she has no fixed address and no husband. She has some valuable Spanish jewellery, which she carries with her everywhere. I’m afraid that she may be in danger.’
‘I don’t understand,’ I said. ‘Is Lady Frances Carfax in Switzerland?’
‘An interesting question,’ he replied. ‘Is she there or somewhere else? Is she alive or is she dead? Her family last heard from her more than five weeks ago. She has a friend in England she often writes to. She has had no letters from her.’
‘Has anyone seen her?’ I asked.
‘She went into a bank in Switzerland four weeks ago and wrote a cheque for fifty pounds to her maid. Send me a telegram if you find out more information.’
Holmes gave me an address of a hotel in Lausanne.
‘Holmes, are you really asking me to investigate?’
‘Of course. Here - I have a first class ticket you can have! Now, shall we eat?’
Two days later I arrived at the hotel in Lausanne. I found out that Lady Frances often stayed there. She was a lovely lady. She was interested in books and she often went for walks on her own. She told the owner she was going to stay for the summer, but five weeks later she paid in advance and left early. The head waiter was engaged to her maid, Marie, and he knew nothing of their plans to leave until he received a letter from his fiancee. It said that she was visiting her family in France to tell them about their engagement. I asked to speak to him.
The waiter couldn’t tell me much about Lady Frances. Marie never spoke about her employer’s private matters but he remembered something interesting: in the last few days before she left, the lady seemed sad and worried. A dark-haired man with a beard was seen holding her by the arm near the lake. Marie thought the man was following her because she saw him again near the hotel. Soon after this Lady Frances left.
He gave me Marie’s address in France and suggested I spoke to the travel agency in town.
The travel agency had copies of train tickets that were sold to two English ladies on the day they left. The final destination was Baden. The lady who paid did not leave her name and she did not leave an address for her luggage, which she preferred to keep with her.
In Baden, I found an English-speaking guest house. The hotel manager recognised Lady Frances from my description. Her maid only stayed one night. The lady was friendly with two guests, Dr Shlessinger and his wife. Dr Shlessinger came to Baden to rest after becoming unwell during his time in South America. He was a very religious man and often spoke of his work with the missionaries there. Lady Carfax, in particular, seemed very interested in their missionary work and wanted to help. Dr Shlessinger paid for her hotel bill and the three guests said they were leaving for London.
‘You aren’t the only person looking for the lady,’ the manager added. ‘A man asked me about her. He was a big, bearded man. I think he was English but I didn’t recognise his accent. I’d say he has lived abroad for some time.’
I was sure the man had something to do with Lady Frances’s disappearance. I sent a telegram to Holmes to tell him how quickly I was resolving the matter and that I was leaving for France to speak with Lady Frances’s maid. I received a telegram in return asking for a description of Dr Shlessinger’s left ear. I didn’t like Holmes’s strange idea of a joke. I decided to continue with my investigations.
The maid lived in a small village and I quickly found her house. When I explained that her mistress was missing, she was very upset and told me everything I needed to know.
‘I am so sorry!’ she said. ‘The mistress was angry at me for leaving and we argued. When I left she gave me a letter. There was a cheque for fifty pounds as a wedding present. She is such a kind lady but she has not been the same since she saw that man by the lake in Lausanne!’
‘Which man?’ I asked. ‘Describe him to me.’
Just as she began describing the man, she screamed loudly at a face at the window.
‘There he is!’ she cried. ‘The man I told you about! He’s following us!’
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