بخش 18

کتاب: پدرخوانده / فصل 18

بخش 18

توضیح مختصر

  • زمان مطالعه 12 دقیقه
  • سطح متوسط

دانلود اپلیکیشن «زیبوک»

این فصل را می‌توانید به بهترین شکل و با امکانات عالی در اپلیکیشن «زیبوک» بخوانید

دانلود اپلیکیشن «زیبوک»

فایل صوتی

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متن انگلیسی فصل


The hospital was small and private with just one entrance. Michael looked through the window down into the street. There was a curved courtyard that had steps leading down into the street and the street was empty of cars. But whoever came into the hospital would have to come through that entrance. He knew he didn’t have much time so he ran out of the room and down the four flights and through the wide doors of the ground floor entrance. Off to the side he saw the ambulance yard and there was no car there, no ambulances either.

Michael stood on the sidewalk outside the hospital and lit a cigarette. He unbuttoned his coat and stood in the light of a lamppost so that his features could be seen. A young man was walking swiftly down from Ninth Avenue, a package under his arm. The young man wore a combat jacket and had a heavy shock of black hair. His face was familiar, when he came under the lamplight but Michael could not place it. But the young man stopped in front of him and put out his hand, saying in a heavy Italian accent, “Don Michael, do you remember me? Enzo, the baker’s helper to Nazorine the Paniterra; his son-in-law. Your father saved my life by getting the government to let me stay in America.” Michael shook his hand. He remembered him now.

Enzo went on, “I’ve come to pay my respects to your father. Will they let me into the hospital so late?”

Michael smiled and shook his head. “No, but thanks anyway. I’ll tell the Don you came.” A car came roaring down the street and Michael was instantly alert. He said to Enzo, “Leave here quickly. There may be trouble. You don’t want to get involved with the police.” He saw the look of fear on the young Italian’s face. Trouble with the police might mean being deported or refusal of citizenship. But the young man stood fast. He whispered in Italian. “If there’s trouble I’ll stay to help. I owe it to the Godfather.” Michael was touched. He was about to tell the young man to go away again, but then he thought, why not let him stay? Two men in front of the hospital might scare off any of Sollozzo’s crew sent to do a job. One man almost certainly would not. He gave Enzo a cigarette and lit it for him. They both stood under the lamppost in the cold December night. The yellow panes of the hospital, bisected by the greens of Christmas decorations, twinkled down on them. They had almost finished their cigarettes when a long low black car turned into 30th Street from Ninth Avenue and cruised toward them, very close to the curb. It almost stopped. Michael peered to see their faces inside, his body flinching involuntarily. The car seemed about to stop, then speeded forward. Somebody had recognized him. Michael gave Enzo another cigarette and noticed that the baker’s hands were shaking. To his surprise his own hands were steady.

They stayed in the street smoking for what was no more than ten minutes when suddenly the night air was split by a police siren. A patrol car made a screaming turn from Ninth Avenue and pulled up in front of the hospital. Two more squad cars followed right behind it. Suddenly the hospital entranceway was flooded with uniformed police and detectives. Michael heaved a sigh of relief. Good old Sonny must have gotten through right away. He moved forward to meet them.

Two huge, burly policemen grabbed his arms. Another frisked him. A massive police captain, gold braid on his cap, came up the steps, his men parting respectfully to leave a path. He was a vigorous man for his girth and despite the white hair that peeked out of his cap. His face was beefy red. He came up to Michael and said harshly, “I thought I got all you guinea hoods locked up. Who the hell are you and what are you doing here?” One of the cops standing beside Michael said, “He’s clean, Captain.”

Michael didn’t answer. He was studying this police captain, coldly searching his face, the metallic blue eyes. A detective in plain clothes said, “That’s Michael Corleone, the Don’s son.”

Michael said quietly, “What happened to the detectives who were supposed to be guarding my father? Who pulled them off that detail?”

The police captain was choleric with rage. “You fu@king hood, who the hell are you to tell me my business? I pulled them off. I don’t give a sh@t how many dago gangsters kill each other. If it was up to me, I wouldn’t lift a finger to keep your old man from getting knocked off. Now get the hell out of here. Get out of this street, you punk, and stay out of this hospital when it’s not visiting hours.” Michael was still studying him intently. He was not angry at what this police captain was saying. His mind was racing furiously. Was it possible that Sollozzo had been in that first car and had seen him standing in front of the hospital? Was it possible that Sollozzo had then called this captain and said, “How come the Corleones’ men are still around the hospital when I paid you to lock them up?” Was it possible that all had been carefully planned as Sonny had said? Everything fitted in. Still cool, he said to the captain, “I’m not leaving this hospital until you put guards around my father’s room.” The captain didn’t bother answering. He said to the detective standing beside him, “Phil, lock this punk up.”

The detective said hesitantly, “The kid is clean, Captain. He’s a war hero and he’s never been mixed up in the rackets. The papers could make a stink.”

The captain started to turn on the detective, his face red with fury. He roared out, “Goddamn it, I said lock him up.”

Michael, still thinking clearly, not angry, said with deliberate malice, “How much is the Turk paying you to set my father up, Captain?”

The police captain turned to him. He said to the two burly patrolmen, “Hold him.” Michael felt his arms pinned to his sides. He saw the captain’s massive fist arching toward his face. He tried to weave away but the fist caught him high on the cheekbone. A grenade exploded in his skull. His mouth filled with blood and small hard bones that he realized were his teeth. He could feel the side of his head puff up as if it were filling with air. His legs were weightless and he would have fallen if the two policemen had not held him up. But he was still conscious. The plainclothes detective had stepped in front of him to keep the captain from hitting him again and was saying, “Jesus Christ, Captain, you really hurt him.” The captain said loudly, “I didn’t touch him. He attacked me and he fell. Do you understand that? He resisted arrest.”

Through a red haze Michael could see more cars pulling up to the curb. Men were getting out. One of them he recognized as Clemenza’s lawyer, who was now speaking to the police captain, suavely and surely. “The Corleone Family has hired a firm of private detectives to guard Mr. Corleone. These men with me are licensed to carry firearms, Captain. If you arrest them, you’ll have to appear before a judge in the morning and tell him why.” The lawyer glanced at Michael. “Do you want to prefer charges against whoever did this to you? he asked.

Michael had trouble talking. His jaws wouldn’t come together but he managed to mumble. “I slipped,” he said. “I slipped and fell.” He saw the captain give him a triumphant glance and he tried to answer that glance with a smile. At all costs he wanted to hide the delicious icy chilliness that controlled his brain, the surge of wintry cold hatred that pervaded his body. He wanted to give no warning to anyone in this world as to how he felt at this moment. As the Don would not. Then he felt himself carried into the hospital and he lost consciousness.

When he woke up in the morning he found that his jaw had been wired together and that four of his teeth along the left side of his mouth were missing. Hagen was sitting beside his bed.

“Did they drug me up?” Michael asked.

“Yeah,” Hagen said. “They had to dig some bone fragments out of your gums and they figured it would be too painful. Besides you were practically out anyway.”

“Is there anything else wrong with me?” Michael asked.

“No,” Hagen said. “Sonny wants you out at the Long Beach house. Think you can make it?”

“Sure,” Michael said. “Is the Don all right?”

Hagen flushed. “I think we’ve solved the problem now. We have a firm of private detectives and we have the whole area loaded. I’ll tell you more when we get in the car.”

Clemenza was driving, Michael and Hagen sat in the back. Michael’s head throbbed. “So what the hell really happened last night, did you guys ever find out?”

Hagen spoke quietly. “Sonny has an inside man, that Detective Phillips who tried to protect you. He gave us the scoop. The police captain, McCluskey, is a guy who’s been on the take very heavy ever since he’s been a patrolman. Our Family has paid him quite a bit. And he’s greedy and untrustworthy to do business with. But Sollozzo must have paid him a big price. McCluskey had all Tessio’s men around and in the hospital arrested right after visiting hours. It didn’t help that some of them were carrying guns. Then McCluskey pulled the official guard detectives off the Don’s door. Claimed he needed them and that some other cops were supposed to go over and take their place but they got their assignments bollixed. Baloney. He was paid off to set the Don up. And Phillips said he’s the kind of guy who’ll try it again. Sollozzo must have given him a fortune for openers and promised him the moon to come.” “Was my getting hurt in the papers?”

“No,” Hagen said. “We kept that quiet. Nobody wants that known. Not the cops. Not us.”

“Good,” Michael said. “Did that boy Enzo get away?”

“Yeah,” Hagen said. “He was smarter than you. When the cops came he disappeared. He claims he stuck with you while Sollozzo’s car went by. Is that true?”

“Yeah,” Michael said. “He’s a good kid.”

“He’ll be taken care of,” Hagen said. “You feeling OK?” His face was concerned. “You look lousy.”

“I’m OK,” Michael said. “What was that police captain’s name?”

“McCluskey,” Hagen said. “By the way, it might make you feel better to know that the Corleone Family finally got up on the scoreboard. Bruno Tattaglia, four o’clock this morning.”

Michael sat up. “How come? I thought we were supposed to sit tight.”

Hagen shrugged.” After what happened at the hospital Sonny got hard. The button men are out all over New York and New Jersey. We made the list last night. I’m trying to hold Sonny in, Mike. Maybe you can talk to him. This whole business can still be settled without a major war.” “I’ll talk to him,” Michael said. “Is there a conference this morning?”,

“Yeah,” Hagen said. “Sollozzo finally got in touch and wants to sit down with us. A negotiator is arranging the details. That means we win. Sollozzo knows he’s lost and he wants to get out with his life.” Hagen paused. “Maybe he thought we were soft, ready to be taken, because we didn’t strike back. Now with one of the Tattaglia sons dead he knows we mean business. He really took an awful gamble bucking the Don. By the way, we got the confirmation on Luca. They killed him the night before they shot your father. In Bruno’s nightclub. Imagine that?” Michael said, “No wonder they caught him off guard.”

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