بخش 48کتاب: پدرخوانده / فصل 48
- زمان مطالعه 14 دقیقه
- سطح متوسط
دانلود اپلیکیشن «زیبوک»
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متن انگلیسی فصل
Kay said, “I don’t care, I love you, I don’t care. If you loved me you wouldn’t be afraid to tell me the truth. You wouldn’t be afraid I might tell the police. That’s it, isn’t it? You’re really a gangster then, isn’t that so? But I really don’t care. What I care about is that you obviously don’t love me. You didn’t even call me up when you got back home.” Michael was puffing on his cigarette and some burning ashes fell on Kay’s bare back. She flinched a little and said jokingly, “Stop torturing me, I won’t talk.”
Michael didn’t laugh. His voice sounded absentminded. “You know, when I came home I wasn’t that glad when I saw my family, my father, my mother, my sister Connie, and Tom. It was nice but I didn’t really give a damn. Then I came home tonight and saw you in the kitchen and I was glad. Is that what you mean by love?” “That’s close enough for me,” Kay said.
They made love again for a while. Michael was more tender this time. And then he went out to get them both a drink. When he came back he sat on an armchair facing the bed. “Let’s get serious,” he said. “How do you feel about marrying me?” Kay smiled at him and motioned him into the bed. Michael smiled back at her. “Be serious,” he said. “I can’t tell you about anything that happened. I’m working for my father now. I’m being trained to take over the family olive oil business. But you know my family has enemies, my father has enemies. You might be a very young widow, there’s a chance, not much of one, but it could happen. And I won’t be telling you what happened at the office every day. I won’t be telling you anything about my business. You’ll be my wife but you won’t be my partner in life, as I think they say. Not an equal partner. That can’t be.” Kay sat up in bed. She switched on a huge lamp standing on the night table and then she lit a cigarette. She leaned back on the pillows and said quietly, “You’re telling me you’re a gangster, isn’t that it? You’re telling me that you’re responsible for people being killed and other sundry crimes related to murder. And that I’m not ever to ask about that part of your life, not even to think about it. Just like in the horror movies when the monster asks the beautiful girl to marry him.” Michael grinned, the cracked part of his face turned toward her, and Kay said in contrition, “Oh, Mike, I don’t even notice that stupid thing, I swear I don’t.” “I know,” Michael said laughing. “I like having it now except that it makes the snot drip out of my nose.”
“You said be serious,” Kay went on. “If we get married what kind of a life am I supposed to lead? Like your mother, like an Italian housewife with just the kids and home to take care of? And what about if something happens? I suppose you could wind up in jail someday.” “No, that’s not possible,” Michael said. “Killed, yes; jail, no.”
Kay laughed at this confidence, it was a laugh that had a funny mixture of pride with its amusement. “But how can you say that?” she said. “Really.”
Michael sighed. “These are all the things I can’t talk to you about, I don’t want to talk to you about.”
Kay was silent for a long time. “Why do you want me to marry you after never calling me all these months? Am I so good in bed?”
Michael nodded gravely. “Sure,” he said. “But I’m getting it for nothing so why should I marry you for that? Look, I don’t want an answer now. We’re going to keep seeing each other. You can talk it over with your parents. I hear your father is a real tough guy in his own way. Listen to his advice.” “You haven’t answered why, why you want to marry me,” Kay said.
Michael took a white handkerchief from the drawer of the night table and held it to his nose. He blew into it and then wiped. “There’s the best reason for not marrying me,” he said. “How would that be having a guy around who always has to blow his nose?”
Kay said impatiently, “Come on, be serious, I asked you a question.”
Michael held the handkerchief in his hand. “OK,” he said, “this one time. You are the only person I felt any affection for, that I care about. I didn’t call you because it never occurred to me that you’d still be interested in me after everything that’s happened. Sure, I could have chased you, I could have conned you, but I didn’t want to do that. Now here’s something I’ll trust you with and I don’t want you to repeat it even to your father. If everything goes right, the Corleone Family will be completely legitimate in about five years. Some very tricky things have to be done to make that possible. That’s when you may become a wealthy widow. Now what do I want you for? Well, because I want you and I want a family. I want kids; it’s time. And I don’t want those kids to be influenced by me the way I was influenced by my father. I don’t mean my father deliberately influenced me. He never did. He never even wanted me in the family business. He wanted me to become a professor or a doctor, something like that. But things went bad and I had to fight for my Family. I had to fight because I love and admire my father. I never knew a man more worthy of respect. He was a good husband and a good father and a good friend to people who were not so fortunate in life. There’s another side to him, but that’s not relevant to me as his son. Anyway I don’t want that to happen to our kids. I want them to be influenced by you. I want them to grow up to be All-American kids, real All-American, the whole works. Maybe they or their grandchildren will go into politics.” Michael grinned. “Maybe one of them will be President of the United States. Why the hell not? In my history course at Dartmouth we did some background on all the Presidents and they had fathers and grandfathers who were lucky they didn’t get hanged. But I’ll settle for my kids being doctors or musicians or teachers. They’ll never be in the Family business. By the time they are that old I’ll be retired anyway. And you and I will be part of some country club crowd, the good simple life of well-to-do Americans. How does that strike you for a proposition?” “Marvelous,” Kay said. “But you sort of skipped over the widow part.”
“There’s not much chance of that. I just mentioned it to give a fair presentation.” Michael patted his nose with the handkerchief.
“I can’t believe it, I can’t believe you’re a man like that, you’re just not,” Kay said. Her face had a bewildered look. “I just don’t understand the whole thing, how it could possibly be.”
“Well, I’m not giving any more explanations,” Michael said gently. “You know, you don’t have to think about any of this stuff, it has nothing to do with you really, or with our life together if we get married.”
Kay shook her head. “How can you want to marry me, how can you hint that you love me, you never say the word but you just now said you loved your father, you never said you loved me, how could you if you distrust me so much you can’t tell me about the most important things in your life? How can you want to have a wife you can’t trust? Your father trusts your mother. I know that.” “Sure,” Michael said. “But that doesn’t mean he tells her everything. And, you know, he has reason to trust her. Not because they got married and she’s his wife. But she bore him four children in times when it was not that safe to bear children. She nursed and guarded him when people shot him. She believed in him. He was always her first loyalty for forty years. After you do that maybe I’ll tell you a few things you really don’t want to hear.” “Will we have to live in the mall?” Kay asked.
Michael nodded. “We’ll have our own house, it won’t be so bad. My parents don’t meddle. Our lives will be our own. But until everything gets straightened out, I have to live in the mall.”
“Because it’s dangerous for you to live outside it,” Kay said.
For the first time since she had come to know him, she saw Michael angry. It was cold chilling anger that was not externalized in any gesture or change in voice. It was a coldness that came off him like death and Kay knew that it was this coldness that would make her decide not to marry him if she so decided.
“The trouble is all that damn trash in the movies and the newspapers,” Michael said. “You’ve got the wrong idea of my father and the Corleone Family. I’ll make a final explanation and this one will be really final. My father is a businessman trying to provide for his wife and children and those friends he might need someday in a time of trouble. He doesn’t accept the rules of the society we live in because those rules would have condemned him to a life not suitable to a man like himself, a man of extraordinary force and character. What you have to understand is that he considers himself the equal of all those great men like Presidents and Prime Ministers and Supreme Court Justices and Governors of the States. He refuses to live by rules set up by others, rules which condemn him to a defeated life. But his ultimate aim is to enter that society with a certain power since society doesn’t really protect its members who do not have their own individual power. In the meantime he operates on a code of ethics he considers far superior to the legal structures of society.” Kay was looking at him incredulously. “But that’s ridiculous,” she said. “What if everybody felt the same way? How could society ever function, we’d be back in the times of the cavemen. Mike, you don’t believe what you’re saying, do you?”
Michael grinned at her. “I’m just telling you what my father believes. I just want you to understand that whatever else he is, he’s not irresponsible, or at least not in the society which he has created. He’s not a crazy machine-gunning mobster as you seem to think. He’s a responsible man in his own way.” “And what do you believe?” Kay asked quietly.
Michael shrugged. “I believe in my family,” he said. “I believe in you and the family we may have. I don’t trust society to protect us, I have no intention of placing my fate in the hands of men whose only qualification is that they managed to con a block of people to vote for them. But that’s for now. My father’s time is done. The things he did can no longer be done except with a great deal of risk. Whether we like it or not the Corleone Family has to join that society. But when they do I’d like us to join it with plenty of our own power; that is, money and ownership of other valuables. I’d like to make my children as secure as possible before they join that general destiny.” “But you volunteered to fight for your country, you were a war hero,” Kay said. “What happened to make you change?”
Michael said, “This is really getting us no place. But maybe I’m just one of those real old-fashioned conservatives they grow up in your hometown. I take care of myself, individual. Governments really don’t do much for their people, that’s what it comes down to, but that’s not it really. All I can say, I have to help my father, I have to be on his side. And you have to make your decision about being on my side.” He smiled at her. “I guess getting married was a bad idea.” Kay patted the bed. “I don’t know about marrying, but I’ve gone without a man for two years and I’m not letting you off so easy now. Come on in here.”
When they were in bed together, the light out, she whispered to him, “Do you believe me about not having a man since you left?”
“I believe you,” Michael said.
“Did you?” she whispered in a softer voice.
“Yes,” Michael said. He felt her stiffen a little. “But not in the last six months.” It was true. Kay was the first woman he had made love to since the death of Apollonia.
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