فصل 01

مجموعه: شرلوک هولمز / کتاب: 5 دانه پرتقال / فصل 1

فصل 01

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  • زمان مطالعه 5 دقیقه
  • سطح خیلی ساده

دانلود اپلیکیشن «زیبوک»

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Chapter one

The Story of Uncle Elias

In September 1887 my wife was visiting some of her family, so I was staying with my old friend Sherlock Holmes in Baker Street. It was a windy, stormy evening, and the rain was falling heavily outside. Suddenly there was a knock at the door.

I looked at my friend in surprise. ‘Who can this be?’ I asked.

‘If he comes on business in this weather, it’s important,’ said Sherlock Holmes. ‘Come in!’ he called.

A young man came in. He looked wet, tired and worried. ‘I’ve come to ask for help,’ he said. ‘I’ve heard of you, Mr Holmes. People say you know everything. I don’t know what to do.’

‘Well, sit down,’ said Holmes, ‘and tell me about yourself.’

The young man sat down, and put his wet feet near the fire. ‘My name is John Openshaw. My father, Joseph, had a brother, my uncle Elias, who went to live in America when he was young. He made a lot of money there. He didn’t like the black Americans, so during the Civil War he fought against the men from the North, and with those from the South. But when the South lost the war, and there was equality for black people, Uncle Elias left America. So in 1869 he came back to England and went to live in a large house in the country. He was a strange, unhappy man.

‘He did not want any friends,’ John Openshaw went on, ‘and he often drank a lot. But he liked me, and when I was twelve, I moved to Uncle Elias’s house. He was very kind to me. I could go anywhere in the house. But there was one small room at the top of the house which was always locked. Nobody could go into this room.

‘One day Uncle Elias got a letter from Pondicherry in India. “I don’t know anyone in Pondicherry!” he said, but when he opened the envelope, five little orange pips fell on to his plate. I began to laugh but stopped when I saw my uncle’s white face.

“K.K.K.!” he cried. “Oh my God, my God, they’ve found me!”

“What do you mean, uncle?” I asked.

“Death!” he cried, and ran upstairs.

I looked at the envelope, which had three Ks on the back. There was no letter. Who sent it? And why was my uncle so afraid?

‘Uncle Elias went immediately to the secret room and took out a box which also had three Ks on it. He burnt all the papers in the box, and said to me, “John, I know that I’m going to die soon. My brother, your father, will have all my money and my house after my death, and you will have it all when he dies. I hope you can enjoy it, but if not, give it to your worst enemy. I’m afraid that my money brings death with it.”

‘I didn’t understand what he meant, and nothing happened for a few weeks, so I did not feel so worried. But my uncle was very afraid. He stayed in his room most of the time, and drank more than before. He always locked all the doors carefully. Then one night he drank very heavily and ran wildly out of the house, and in the morning we found him dead in a river. The police said he killed himself, but I knew he was afraid to die, so I didn’t think that was true.’

Holmes stopped the young man for a minute. ‘Tell me,’ he said. ‘When did your uncle get the letter from India, and when did he die?’

‘The letter arrived on 10th March 1883, and he died seven weeks later,’ answered John Openshaw.

‘Thank you. Please go on,’ said Holmes.

‘After my uncle’s death, my father moved into the house. Of course I asked him to look carefully at the locked room, but we didn’t find anything important.’

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