الاثنين، 24 فبراير 2020

Another Death

Another Death
It was a cold night. The wind was blowing hard. It blew dust and paper about in the dark London streets. Eugene Wrayburn looked idly out of his window the churchyard below. Dust and paper were blowing about there too. It looks as if the churchyard ghosts were rising from their graves,’ said Eugene ‘And this looks like one of the ghots now,’ Mortimer said as dark figure appeared ‘Who are you?’ he called to the man below. I’m looking for someone,’ a rough voice anwered. ‘Is one of you Lawyer Lightwood?’ ‘One of us is.’ All right. I’m here on buiness.’ The figure moved and a footstep was heard on the stairs. Mortimer opened the door and Eugene lit the candles. The man stood in the doorway holding an old, wet cap in his hands. Mortimer took a sep towards him. I’m Lightwood. Why do you want a lawyer?’ Sir, said the man in a low, rough voice, I want to take an oath. I want my words written down and signed as the truth. First tell me why you are here. It’s about a ten thousand pound reward. It’s about Murder.’ Sit down,’ said Lightwood. What’s your name? ‘Rogue Riderhood.’ ‘Where do you live and what is your work? By the river. On the river. Eugene leant back in his chair, smoking. His pen was ready and his eyes were on Riderhood as he began speaking. ‘Let this be written down. I give information that the man who
 done the Harmon Murder is Jesse Hexam. His hand done it and no other. Why do you say this? I know his ways. I was his partner. I’ve watched him for many long days and nights. I stopped working with him because I didn’t trust him. His daughter will tell you a different story, of course. She’ll tell any lie to save her father. You have no proof, said Lightwood Haven’t I ?’ cried Riderhood. But he told me he done it. Hexam told me himself. "I done it for his money. Don’t betray me." Those were his own words. Why didn’t you tell anyone this beforeľ asked Eugene. Why did you wait until a reward was offered Riderhood turned suddenly like an angry dog I want to forget the trouble. Why shouldn’t I have the money? Iant the reward. I tell you Hexam done it and I want him caught-tonight" There was silence I suppose we must ake this fellow to the police station, Lightwood said at last suppose we must. Eugene looked hard at Riderhood. You don t say that Hexam s daghter knew shout this? No, I don’t. All I know is his words to me "I done it." Those were his words. Riderhood led the way through the dark night. As they passed by Hexam’s house, Riderhood looked through the window. Hexam’s out. And his boat’s gone. But his daughter’s there, getting supper ready. He ll be back soon." At the police station, the same Inspector was there as before. When he had heard Riderhood s story, he stood up and put a pair of handcuffs in his pocket They went back to Hexam’s house and stood waiting by the riverside. Eugenie looked at the lighted window. He walked towards it. Lizzie was sitting by the fire, her hands over her

face. Eugene saw that she was crying. He made no noise, but suddenly Lizzie stood up. Eugene drew back into the shadows as she opened the door. ‘Father, was that you calling me?’ Lizzie cried out. ‘Father, Father The wind blew her words away and after a few minutes she went back into the house. Eugene moved quietly back and stood with the others .Time passed. The dark shapes of boatsmoved up and down the river. The tide was up now and the water was very near. They could see the river and they could see the house. It will be light at five, said the Inspector. He may be keeping away on purpose, said Riderhood. Why don’t I take my boat and have a look round? I know all his hiding-places.
More than an hour passed before Riderhood returned
Have you seen him? asked the Inapector ‘I’ve seen his boat. ‘what! Empty?’ ‘Yes, it’s caught berween two lines of berges. And one oar’s gone. Where is Hexam, then? ‘I can’t think. But he always was a cheat. I told you that. Come in my boat and see for yourselves." The wind beat the rain in their faces. They were shivering and wet and the old boat was low in the water. Riderhood kept near to the shore. Now tell me I’m a liar,’ he said at last, pointing to something between the barges. That is Hexam’s boat, said the Inspector. I know it well. Now I must have a look at that boat. That’s not so easy, said Riderhood, pulling was stretched tightly under the water. I must have that rope up, replied the Inspector. It was a slow and terrible kind of fishing. At last,the rope
came free. Riderhood leant over the side of the boat and gave a loud cry. By the Lord, he’s done me!’ What do you mean? they all asked. Look, it’s him. He is cheated me! They pulled together on the rope. Then Riderhood rowed back to the shore. They laid the body on the ground. The man had been dead some hours. Jesse Hexam lay strangled, his neck caught in his own rope. Father, was that you calling mel Fatherl Words never to be answered. Father, did you call me The wind moved the hair and the rain fell upon the dead, cold face.

The Golden Dustman

The Golden Dustman
Abeautiful girl of eighteen was sitting in a dirty, untidy room. Her pretty face was sad and she was twisting and pulling her thick, brown hair angrily. She looked up at the round faced little man who was sitting beside her. Here I am in this ugly, black dress, Pa,’ she said. I’m like a widow who has never been married. I was going to be rich and now I have nothing. No husband, no money. It was bad enough
to be told to marry a stranger. But it’s worse, much worse, when the man gets himself drowned!’ I don’t suppose he meant to, Bella, my dear,’ her father answered. Reginald Wilfer was a cheerful man, but a poor man with a large family has little reason to he happy. He was very fond of his daughter, Bella, and he knew she hated being poor. Now John Harmon was dead, she would never marry a rich man. There was a quiet knock on the door and a pale young man of about thirty came into the room. He had a handsome face, but he was very shy and awkward. When he began to speak, he looked down at the ground. I have seen the rooms upstairs, Mr Wilfer. I would like to move into them as soon as posible. If you can write out an agreement, I’ll pay you three months rent now. Mr Wilfer was Abter delighted. He had soon written and signed John the agreement and the young man added his name - Rokesmith. Let me be witness, Pa, said Bella taking the pen from her father. As she bent over the paper, Mr Rokesmith looked at her beautiful face with the greatest interest. After Mr Rokesmith had paid his money and gone, Bella said with a laugh, Well, Pa, I think we’ve got a murderer or a robber for a lodger. He cannot look anyone in the face!’ Perhaps he was a little shy of you, my dear. But his money will pay our rent.
Oh, why do we have to be poor, Pa? I might have been rich enough to take you away from here. Why did old Mr Harmon have to make such a fool of me?’
He only saw you once, said her father. You were angry with me, stamping your little foot and shouting. The old man laughed at your bad temper. Then he asked me for your name, and that was all.’ And now I’ll never be rich and we may all be murdered by that strange Mr Rokesmith, Bella said with a laugh. But Bella would not have laughed if she had known one thing. Mr Julius Handford and Mr John Rokesmith were surely the same man.
Now John Hamon was dead, all his father’s money went to the old servant, Noddy Boffin, who had helped in the business for so many years. Noddy Boffin was a broad, round~houldered old fellow with bright grey eyes. He wore thick, heavy clothes and always carried a strong stick. He and his wife were simple and uneducated, but they were honest and kind people. Mr Boffin had gone to see Mr Mortimer Lightwood who was now his lawyer. 
‘Well, Mr Boffin,’ said Mortimer. I am happy to tell you that Mr Harmon left a hundred thousand pounds which now belongto you. 
 I don’t know what to say, said Mr Boffin. It’s a great deal of money, but it never did the old man any good. And it’s done no good to his poor, dead boy. Mrs Boffin often cried over that child. His father sent him away to a foreign school when he was only seven years old. And now he has been wickedly murdered.

 Mrs Boffin and me gain by his death, Mr Boffin went on. ‘So we have decided to offer a reward of ten thousand pounds. Ten thousand pounds to the man who finds John Harmon’s murderer.’ Mr Boffin, that is too much, far too much.’ But Mortimer Lightwood could not make Mr Boffin change his mind. The old man walked slowly home, thinking about the troubles
that the money might bring to his wife and himself. Now then, what’s the trouble? said Mr Boffin, stopping suddenly and looking hard at the young man. You don’t know me and I don’t know you.’
‘I am nobody,’ said the young man. But I know you are the rich Mr Boffin. ‘Rich? So that is it. I thought money would come into it. What is it you want? I want a job. I would like to be your secretary. You would find me useful and honest.I am not interested in money, believe me.’ Where have you come from? ‘From many places. But at present I am living in Mr Wilfer’s house. My name is John Rokesmith ‘Wilfer? Bella Wilfer’s father. Now that’s very strange. Well, I like the look of you. Come and see me in about two weeks’ time. Mr Lightwood will send you our new address. Mrs Boffin and I are moving into a bigger house. Ms Boffin wants to go into society. And she wants to go in for Fashion in a big way!’ As soon as he got home, Mr Boffin told his wife about the strange young man. ‘Perhaps we shall need a secretary, Noddy dear, she said. We’ll be living in a grand, new house and someone must take care of the bills. Now I’ve something to tell you. I’ve been thinking about that poor girl. She has lost a husband and all the money too. We haven’t any children of our own. Why don’t we ask Bella to live with us?

Well, that’s a good idea,’ said Mr Boffin cheerfully. ‘What a clever woman you are, Mrs Boffin! It’s a pleasure to know you! It’s been a pleasure to know you for many years.’ And the old man gave his wife a hug and a kiss. That same evening, Mr and Mrs Boffin drove up to the Wilfers’ house in their fine, new carriage Mrs Boffin and I have come to say that we want to help your daughter, Bella, Mr Boffin told the Wilfers. If Miss Bella will make her home with us, we shall be very happy. We plan to go into society and meet the very best people. A beautiful girl like Miss Bella will do very well in society, we are sure.’ ‘You are very kind You are much too prettry to keep yourself shut up said Mrs Boffin kindly. We are going to live in a grand, new house. We’ll go everywhere and see everyhing You mustn’t dislike us because of the money, my dear.’ Bella had a kind heart too. She smiled at Mrs Boffin and kissed her And so everything was into their new home, Bella would go and live with them. ‘By the way,’ said Mr Boffin he stood up to go, ‘I believe you have a lodger. ‘There is a gentieman living upstairs, ‘Mn Wilfer replied. ‘His
name is Mr John Rokesmith.’ So Mr John Rokesmith is Our Mutual Friend,’ said Mr Boffin. ‘What sort of fellow is he? Do you get on well with him? ‘Mr Rokesmith is very quiet and polite. A very sensible
young man.’ I’m glad to hear you speak well of him, Mr Boffin answered. Mr Rokesmith is at home now,’ said Mr Wilfer. ‘In fact, I can see him standing at the gate. He is waiting to see you, perhaps, Mr Boffin?
When Mr and Mrs Boffin left, Bella walked to the gate
with them. How are you, sir? said Mr Boffin, turning to the yourng man. This is my wife, Mrs Boffin. Mr Rokesmith, my dear.’ The Boffins got into their carriage, and Mrs Boffin waved cheerfully out of the carriage window. ‘Goodbye, Bella,’ she called. We’ll meet again soon.’ Bella stood by the gate with Mr Rokesmith. She was quite sure that Mr Rokesmith thought her beautiful. Did Bella like him or not? She could not make up her mind. But she certainly thought a lot about him .The Boffins are good people,’ John Rokesmith said at last. Do you know them well, sir? asked Bella in her most polite voice.
‘I have only heard people talking about their kindness. They call Mr Boffin the Golden Dutman. The Boffins will be good friends to you, Miss Wilfer I am sure you know why they are being so kind.’
Bella did not answer snd very soon she went back into the house. But Mr Rokesmith stood by the gate for a long time, alone with his thoughts.

The Harmon Murder

The Harmon Murder
Mr Mortimer Lightwood and Mr Eugene Wrayburn were sitting together in their chambers. The young men were lawyers, and they had been friends since their schooldays. Both of them were gentlemen, but they had very little money. They were not very interested in the Law, and they spent most of their time doing nothing at all. Now they were sitting in comfortable chairs, smoking and talking as the evening grew darker. A client of mine died the other day,’ said Mortimer. He was an old rogue called Harmon. He died very rich -made his money by Dust. ‘Dust?’ repeated Eugene in a slow, lazy voice. ‘Yes, dust. Coal-dust, vegetable dust, bone-dust, all kinds of dust. He got rich by selling the dust he collected. And did this dust collector make a will?’ asked Eugene. A will has been found. Most of the property goes to the only son-John Harmon.’ ‘Lucky man, said Eugene. He has been helping his father collect dust, I suppose.’
‘No. The two quarrelled long ago. The son left England and has been abroad for fourteen years. He is now on his way back, but he can only get the money on the condition. ’ And what s that? Eugene asked lazily He must marry a certain girl who is now beautiful. The old man saw this girl once when she was only four years old. So — John Harmon returns to find a fortune and to take a wife,’ said Eugene.A lucky man. Good Lucy with no hard work!’ The two friends sat quietly in the dark room. Each thought of how happy he would be with money and a beautiful wife. At that moment, there was a knock on the door. Mortimer got up slowly to open it and Eugene lit the lamp. A boy of about fifteen stood in the doorway. His clothes were poor, but clean. He had a sharp, clever face. The boy held out a piece of paper. Lawyer Lightwood? He asked. Mortimer took the note and read it once and then again. He looked at Eugene in amazement. This is very strange,’ said Mortimer. A most strange ending to young John Harmon’s story.
Is he already married?’ asked Eugene. Has another will been found? Or has he refused to marry the girl?’
No, said Mortimer slowly, the truth is stranger than that. John Harmon has been found in the river-drowned!’ 
Mortimer looked again at the careful writing on the paper. Did you write this? he asked the boy
Yes, sir. My father, Jesse Hexam, told me to do it. He found the body. I’ve come by cab. You could come back with me now, and pay the cab-man
Eugene looked hard at the boy He took the boy’s face by the chin and turned it towards the light.
Who taught you to write! Do you go to school?
 The boy pulled away angrily. ‘Yes. My sister sent me. But don’t tell my father.
‘You have a good sister,’ said Eugene.
Yes, Lizzie’s very good to me. But she hasn’t been to school. She only knows what I’ve taught her. ’The two friends went down to the cab with the boy, Charley Hexam. The cab turned towards the river, on past docks, boat-yards and poor, miserable houses. It stopped at last in a dark, damp street on the very edge of the water. That’s my father’s house, sir, where the light is.’
The boy opened the door of the dirty wooden hose.

A grey-haired man was standing by the fire. A girl sat on a low chair beside the fire, sewing. Two or three oars stood against the wall. This is Lawyer Lightwood, Father. And a friend. Mr Wrayburn, said Eugene quietly. The girl looked up for a minute at the sound of his voice. What have you found, Hexam? said Mortimer. Is the body here The police have it, said Hexam. He took up a candle and the light shone on a notice on the wall: "Body Found". The two friends looked at the notice with its description of the drowned man. There were other, older notices all round the walls. You did not find all these poor people yourself, did you? asked Mortimer. Most of them. That s how I make my living-I take drowned bodies from the river As he spoke, there was a mow
man stood thete, his face pale and afraid1...I am lost, said the young man. I am looking for the police station. I want to see the drowned man. And he held up a notice: "Body Found" Eugene Weayburn stepped forward. This gentleman is Mr Lightwood. He is a lawyer and be s here on the same business"
Mr Lightwood? repeated the pale young man. The young man looked closely at the lawyer. We are going to the police now, Mortimer said. Would you
like to come with us? Jesse Hexam led the way along the dark, muddy streets to the police station. An Inspector showed them the body of the drowned man. The young man leant against the wall, his face paler than ever. It’s a terrible sight, he said in a low voice. Friend ef yours, sir? asked the Inspector.
No, no. But you must be looking for someone, sir, said the Inspector or you would not be here. Are you from London, sir, or from the country? Perhaps you would leave me your name? Yes, of course. "Mr Julius Handford," wrote the young man, his hand shaking little. "Exchequer Coffee House, Westminster." Then with one last frightened look at Mortimer Lightwood, Mr Julius Handford hurried out into the dark street. Mortimer and Eugene went home together and Charley Hexam returned alone to his sister. The girl was sitting beside the fire as before. She looked up with a smile as Charley came into the room. I thought father would be angry when he saw you could write, Lizzie said. If only I could make him see that learning is good thing. You do work hard at aschool, don’t you, Charley?’ You know I do, Lizze.’
 "Your learning will take you away from the river and this terrible life. How I wish that I could read and write too ! But Father wouldn’t like it. Perhags, one day, I can change him. I hate the river. It brings nothing but unhappiness And the girl looked up terrible notices on the walls: "Body Found. Body Found’’. At the inquest, the dead man was identified as Mr John Harmon, who had recently returned from abroad. The body had been in the river for some days and was been drowned, but murdered. But how had he died and who had killed him? From that time on, the name of Jesse Hexam and Murder were spoken of together. Lizzie saw people turn away from her father and refuse to speak to him. More than ever, the great, black river seemed a place of fear and death.

At last, Lizzie made up her mind to send Charley away. He would never be able to rise in the world while he lived with his father. Lizzie had saved a little money. She gave some of this to her brother. ‘You must leave here, Charley,’ she said. ‘I will stay here with Father, but you must go away. ‘Must?’ repeated Charley. ‘Do you want to get rid of me? Isn’t there enough food for the three of us? You know that’s not true, said Lizzie. You must go to a better school. They will teach you and help you to get a living. I’ll send you some more money when I can. Perhaps Mr Lightwood will help a little. Don’t ask that other one, that Mr Wraybum for anything, said Charley sharply. I didn’t like the way he spoke to me. And I didn’t like the way he looked at you Lizzie gave her brother some food to take with hin Now remember, Charley Never listen to anything bad a bout Father. It will not be true. Goodbye, my darling. Go now, before Father comes back.’ When she was alone, Lizzie cried a little. Then she looked into the bright fire and dreams of the future. Did she her brother working hard and making asuccess of his life? Did she see herself as alady, clever and beautifull? Did she see afine gentleman who would love her and take her far away from the cold, dark river?

On the River

On the River
It was an autumn evening and dark shadows were covering the river. An old, dirty boat, with two people in it, was moving silently through the water. The man had rough, grey hair, and cruel, sharp eyes. He was watching the water closely. His daughter, a pretty girl of nineteen, was holding the oars and rowing the boat through the shadows. There was nothing in the boat except some rope and a great iron hook. The man’s eyes watched every movement of the water,
and he had the greedy look of a cruel bird. The girl watched her father’s face and her eyes were fall of fear. These two knew the river well. They were doing something they had done many times before. Suddenly the man guided the boat towards a dark shadow and picked up the rope. The girl stopped rowing and pulled her cloak over her face. The man stretched out over the side of the boat until his arms and shoulders were in the river. When the boat moved on something heavy follow in the water. The man’s right hand that held something that he washed clean and then put in ha pocket. It was money. The girl’s face, half-hidden by the cloak, was very pale. Take that thing off your face, Lizzie,’ her father said. Here, give me the oars. I’ll row now.’ ‘No, no, Father Don’t move. I can’t sit so near it. ‘What harm can it do you? I sometimes think you hate this river.’ 
 I don’t like it, Father.’
The river’s your best friend, my girl, and mine too. Don’t we both make our living from it? The river gives us food and drink Lizzie.’
 The girl said nothing, but held out her hand to her father in 
a loving way Then she pulled back the cloak from her face and rowed on. At that moment, another boat, very like the first, came up out of the shadows.
In luck again, Hexam? Asked the man in the other boat. His voice was rough, and he had an unpleasant, twisted smile.Always in luck, you are, partner the man went on. I am no partner of yours, Rogue Rider hood, Hexam answered. You steal from the living. That is bad, that is. You are a thief and I’ll work with you no more. Those are cruel words, Jesse Hexam. You can’t get haired of me with words, partner.’ ‘Can’t I?’ said the grey-haired man. Then I’ll get rid of you with this boathook. Row on, Lizzie Row home as fast as you can.’ Lizzie rowed strongly and their boat soon left Rider hood’s behind. Lizzie’s father made himself comfortable and started to
Smoke his pipe. As the boat moved silently over the water, the thing at the end of the rope always followed. Sometimes it came near the boat and sometimes it pulled away like. Something alive. As it moved through the water, changes seemed to pass over the dead man’s face. For the thing that followed at the end of the rope was the body of a drowned man.

Coming home

Coming Home
A young man called John Harmon stood alone on the deck of ship sailing up the River Thames. He looked down at the dark river which he had not seen for fourteen years. Have I done right to come back? John Harmon asked himself. My father was always unkind to me when I was a child. Now he is dead and I am rich. But will this money make me happy? Shall I be happy, married to a girl that I have never seen? Old John Hamon had made a very stange will . His son,
John inherited all his father s money But only if he agreed to marry a girl called Bella Wilfet. Young John Harmon, unhappy and wihout a friend, had told his story to George Radfoot, asailor on the ship. Together, the two young men had mad aplan. George Radfoot was going to help john harmon disguise himself. Then Hamon would hide for a time and find our what kind of girl Bella Wilfer was. When I know what Bella is like, I can decide what to do, John Harmon told himself. Then I shall go to Mr Lightwood, my father s lawyer, and tell him who I am. The young man looked at the dark, dirty buildings on both sides of the river. Very soon his long voyage would be over. John Harmon turned and went slowly down to his cabin below. About an hour later, two young men left the ship. They both looked very much like each other. One was John Harmon and the other 
was George Radfoot. 
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