Learn english through story Three is a Lucky Number (level 1)

{“en”:”At five o’clock on a September afternoon Ronald Torbay was making preparations for his third murder. He was being very careful. He realized that murdering people becomes more dangerous if you do it often. He was in the bathroom of the house that he had recently rented. For a moment he paused to look in the mirror. The face that looked back at him was thin, middle-aged and pale. Dark hair, a high forehead and well-shaped blue eyes. Only the mouth was unusual – narrow and quite straight. Even Ronald Torbay did not like his own mouth. A sound in the kitchen below worried him. Was Edyth coming up to have her bath before he had prepared it for her? No, it was all right; she was going out of the back door. From the window he saw her disappearing round the side of the house into the small square garden. It was exactly like all the other gardens in the long street. He didn’t like her to be alone there. She was a shy person, but now new people had moved into the house next door, and there was a danger of some silly woman making friends with her.

He didn’t want that just now. *** Each of his three marriages had followed the same pattern. Using a false name, he had gone on holiday to a place where no one knew him. There he had found a middle-aged, unattractive woman, with some money of her own and no family. He had talked her into marrying him, and she had then agreed to make a will which left him all her money. Both his other wives had been shy, too. He was very careful to choose the right type of woman: someone who would not make friends quickly in a new place. Mary, the first of them, had had her deadly ‘accident’ almost unnoticed, in the bathroom of the house he had rented – a house very like this one, but in the north of England instead of the south. The police had not found anything wrong. The only person who was interested was a young reporter on the local newspaper. He had written something about death in the middle of happiness, and had printed photographs of Mary’s wedding and her funeral, which took place only three weeks after the wedding.

Dorothy had given him a little more trouble. It was not true that she was completely alone in the world, as she had told him. Her brother had appeared at the funeral, and asked difficult questions about her money. There had been a court case, but Ronald had won it, and the insurance company had paid him the money. All that was four years ago. Now, with a new name, a newly invented background, and a different area to work in, he felt quite safe. From the moment he saw Edyth, sitting alone at a little table in the restaurant of a seaside hotel, he knew she was his next ‘subject’. He could see from her face that she was not happy. And he could also see that she was wearing a valuable ring. After dinner he spoke to her. She did not want to talk at first, but in the end he managed to start a conversation.

After that, everything went as he expected. His methods were old-fashioned and romantic, and by the end of a week she was in love with him. Her background was very suitable for Ronald’s purpose. After teaching at a girls’ school for ten years, she had gone home to look after her sick father and had stayed with him until he died. Now, aged forty-three, she was alone, with a lot of money, and she didn’t know what to do with herself. Five weeks after they met, Ronald married her, in the town where they were both strangers. The same afternoon they both made a will leaving all their property to each other. Then they moved into the house which he had rented cheaply because the holiday season was at an end. It was the most pleasant of his marriages. He found Edyth a cheerful person, and even quite sensible – except that it was stupid of her to believe that a man would fall in love with her at first sight. Ronald knew he must not make the mistake of feeling sorry for her. He began to make plans for ‘her future’, as he called it.

*** Two things made him do this earlier than he intended. One was the way she refused to talk about her money. She kept all her business papers locked in a desk drawer, and refused to discuss them. His other worry was her unnecessary interest in his job. Ronald had told Edyth that he was a partner in an engineering company, which was giving him a long period of absence. Edyth accepted the story, but she asked a lot of questions and wanted to visit his office and the factory. So Ronald had decided that it was time to act. He turned from the window, and began to run water into the bath.

His heart was beating loudly, he noticed. He didn’t like that. He needed to keep very calm. The bathroom was the only room they had painted. He had done it himself soon after they arrived. He had also put up the little shelf over the bath which held their bottles and creams and a small electric heater. It was a cheap one, with two bars, and it was white, like the walls, and not too noticeable. There was no electric point in the bathroom, but he was able to connect the heater to a point just outside the door. He turned on the heater now, and watched the bars become red and hot. Then he went out of the room. The controls for all the electricity in the house were inside a cupboard at the top of the stairs. Ronald opened the door carefully and pulled up the handle which turned off the electricity. (He had a cloth over his hand, so that he would not leave fingerprints.) Back in the bathroom the bars of the heater were turning black again. Still using the cloth, he lifted the heater from the shelf and put it into the bath water, at the bottom end of the bath.

Of course, you could still see it. It looked as if it had fallen off the shelf by accident. Edyth was coming back from the garden: he could hear her moving something outside the kitchen door. He pulled a small plastic bottle out of his pocket and began to read again the directions on the back. A small sound behind him made him turn suddenly. There was Edyth’s head, only two metres away, appearing above the flat roof of the kitchen which was below the bathroom window. She was clearing the dead leaves from the edge of the roof. She must be standing on the ladder which was kept outside the kitchen door. He stayed calm. ‘What are you doing there, dear?’ Edyth was so surprised that she nearly fell oft the ladder. ‘Oh, you frightened me! I thought I’d just do this little job before I came to get ready.’ ‘But I’m preparing your beauty bath tor you.’ ‘It’s kind of you to take all this trouble, Ronald.’ ‘Not at all.

I’m taking you out tonight and I want you to look as nice as – er – possible. Hurry up, dear. The bubbles don’t last very long, and like all these beauty treatments, this one’s expensive. Go and undress now, and come straight here.’ ‘Very well, dear.’ She began to climb down the ladder. Ronald opened the little bottle, and poured the liquid into the bath. He turned on the water again, and in a moment the bath was lull of bubbles, smelling strongly of roses. They covered the little heater completely; they even covered the sides of the bath. Edyth was at the door. ‘Oh Ronald! Its all over everything – even on the floor!’ ‘That doesn’t matter. You get in quickly, before it loses its strength. I’ll go and change now. Get straight in and lie down. It will give your skin a bit of colour!’ He went out and paused, listening. She locked the door, as he expected.

He walked slowly to the electricity box, and forced himself to wait another minute. ‘How is it?’ he shouted. ‘I don’t know yet. I’ve only just got into the bath. It smells nice.’ His hand, covered with the cloth, was on the controls. ‘One, two … three,’ he said, and pulled the handle down. A small explosion from the electric point behind him told him that the electricity had gone off. Then everything was silent. After a time he went and knocked on the bathroom door. ‘Edyth?’ There was no answer, no sound, nothing. Now he had to prepare the second stage. As he knew well, this was the difficult bit. The discovery of the body must be made, but not too soon. He had made that mistake with Dorothy’s ‘accident’, and the police had asked him why he had got worried so soon. This time he decided to wait half an hour before he began to knock loudly on the bathroom door, then to shout for a neighbour and finally to force the lock.

There was something he wanted to do now. Edyth’s leather writing-case, which contained all her private papers, was in the drawer where she kept her blouses. He had discovered it some time ago, but he had not forced the lock open because that would frighten her. Now there was nothing to stop him. He went softly into the bedroom and opened the drawer.

The case was there. The lock was more difficult than he expected, but he finally managed to open the case. Inside there were some financial documents, one or two thick envelopes and, on top of these, her Post Office Savings book. He opened it with shaking fingers, and began reading the figures – 17,000 … 18,600 … 21,940 … He turned over a page, and his heart jumped wildly. On 4th September she had taken almost all the money out of her savings account! Perhaps it was here, in these thick envelopes? He opened one of them; papers, letters, documents fell on the floor.

Suddenly he saw an envelope with his own name on it, in Edyth’s writing. He pulled it open, and saw in surprise that the date on the letter was only two days ago. Dear Ronald, If you ever read this, I am afraid it will he a terrible shock to you. I hoped it would not he necessary to write it, but now your behaviour has forced me to face some very unpleasant possibilities. Did you not realize, Ronald, that any middle-aged woman who has been rushed into marriage to a stranger will ask herself about her husband’s reason for marrying her? At first I thought I was in love with you, but when you asked me to make my will on our wedding day, I began to worry. And then, when you started making changes to the bathroom in this house, I decided to act quickly.

So I went to the police. Have you noticed that the people who have moved into the house next door have never spoken to you? Well, they are not a husband and wife, but a police inspector and a policewoman. The policewoman showed me two pieces from old newspapers, both about women who had died from accidents in their baths soon after their marriages. Both pieces included a photograph of the husband at the funeral. They were not very clear, but I was able to recognize you. So I realized that it was my duty to agree to do what the inspector asked me to do. (The police have been looking for the man since the photographs were given to them by your second wife’s brother.) The inspector said the police needed to be sure that you were guilty: you must be given the opportunity to try the crime again. That’s why I am forcing myself to be brave, and to play my part.

I want to tell you something, Ronald. If one day you lose me, out of the bathroom, I mean, you will find that I have gone out over the kitchen roof, and am sitting in the kitchen next door. I was stupid to marry you, but not quite as stupid as you thought. Yours, Edyth Ronald’s mouth was uglier than ever when he finished reading the letter. The house was still quiet. But in the silence he heard the back door open suddenly, and heavy footsteps rushed up the stairs towards him.. “}

As found on Youtube

Neuro Linguistic Programming in Brighton

Learn English through story The Lost World (level 2)

{“en”:”CHAPTER ONE Gladys Hungerton I often listened to Mr Hungerton. He talked to me about economics. It was very boring, but I was in love with his daughter Gladys. One evening, I listened to him for a long time. Finally, he left. I now had a chance to speak to Gladys. She was a proud woman and she treated me as a friend. She looked at me and said, ‘You’re going to propose marriage.’ ‘How do you know?’ I replied. ‘A woman always knows. But Edward, I don’t love you. I love somebody else,’ she continued. ‘Who?’ I cried. ‘Nobody really. I love the idea of someone.

I want to love a hero, somebody like the great explorers Richard Burton and Lord Stanley! A man who has nearly seen death. A great hero! When I marry I want to marry a great man.’ ‘Then I’ll do something great for you,’ I replied. ‘When you do, come back. We can talk about marriage then,’ she said. I left her and went to work. I was a journalist and I had to work that evening. When I arrived at the offices of the newspaper the Daily Gazette, I went to see my boss, the news editor, Mr McArdle. ‘You’re doing a very good job,’ he said when he saw me. ‘Thank you very much, sir,’ I replied. ‘I want to ask you a favour.’ ‘What is it?’ ‘Could you possibly send me on a mission for the paper? Then I could write some good articles for you.’ ‘What kind of mission, Mr Malone?’ ‘Well, anything with adventure and danger.’ ‘Do you really want to die so young?’ ‘No, I want to do something heroic with my life,’ I said.

‘Well, the age of exploration and romance is over. No, wait, I have an idea. What about exposing a fraud? You could show that he’s a liar. Do you like that idea?’ ‘Yes, anything is good,’ I replied. ‘Well,’ continued Mr McArdle, ‘I’m sure that you can talk to this man. You’re good at making friends with people.’ ‘Thank you, sir,’ I said. ‘So, try to talk to Professor Challenger.’ ‘Challenger!’ I cried, ‘Professor Challenger, the famous zoologist! The man who attacked Blundell, the journalist of the Telegraph?’ ‘Well, ‘ said Mr McArdle, ‘you said that you wanted adventure.

‘ ‘Yes, I do, ‘ I answered, ‘but what exactly has Professor Challenger done? ‘ ‘He went to South America on an expedition two years ago, ‘ he answered excitedly. ‘He came back last year. He certainly went to South America, but he doesn’t want to say where exactly. He started to tell everyone about his adventures. However, when people ask him questions he never replies. Something wonderful happened, or the man is a very good liar.

He has some photographs in bad condition, but scientists say that they are fakes. When journalists try to talk to him, he just throws them down the stairs. Well, Mr Malone, this is your mission. Goodbye. ‘ My meeting was over. Now I had to make a plan to meet Professor Challenger. I knew that he hated journalists. I decided to write him a letter saying I was interested in science. This is the letter that I wrote. Dear Professor Challenger, I am only a student of nature and science, but I am very interested in your ideas on the debate between the scientists August Weismann and Charles Darwin.

I would very much like to discuss some of your ideas. I believe you are the real expert on this matter. I have many questions to ask you about this fascinating subject. Please could I visit you at eleven o’clock tomorrow morning? Yours respectfully, Edward D. Malone. CHAPTER TWO Professor Challenger Later I received a letter from Professor Challenger. Dear Sir, I received your letter. You can come to my house. However, I am a great scientist and I do not need your good opinion of me. Show this letter to my servant when you arrive. I do not want any of those horrible journalists in my house. Yours faithfully, George Edward Challenger Professor Challenger The next day I went to his house. A servant opened the door. ‘Is Professor Challenger expecting you?’ he asked. ‘Yes, he is,’ I answered. ‘Have you got the letter?’ he continued. I showed the letter to his servant and walked in. A small woman stopped me. She looked more French than English to me.

‘Do you already know my husband?’ she asked ‘No, I don’t,’ I answered. ‘Well, then I must apologise for him now. He’s a perfectly impossible person. Do not argue with him. He can be dangerous. Do you want to talk about South America?’ ‘Yes, madam,’ I answered, because I could not lie to a lady. ‘Oh, that’s a very dangerous subject! Just say that you agree with him. Call me if he seems dangerous. I can usually control him.’ The servant then led me into Professor Challenger’s study. I was surprised when I saw him. He had a very large head and a big black beard. His chest and arms were enormous. ‘Well?’ he said. ‘I am the student who wanted to ask you some questions about Weismann and Darwin,’ I said. ‘Perhaps, your opinion of Weismann was too critical,’ I continued. ‘And recent experiments show that maybe he’s right.’ ‘Well,’ he said seriously, ‘you know that the cranial index is a constant factor?’ ‘Naturally,’ I answered, but I did not understand anything.

‘And that germ plasm is different from the parthenogenetic egg?’ ‘Oh yes,’ I cried and I was surprised at my courage. ‘But what does this show?’ he concluded. ‘I don’t know. What does this show?’ ‘It shows,’ he said in a loud voice, ‘that you’re one of those horrible journalists and that you’re not a young scientist! I talked nonsense to you: my words had no real meaning!’ He stood up, and I was surprised because he was extremely short. He began to walk in my direction. ‘You mustn’t attack me,’ I said. ‘But I will,’ he answered.

He attacked me and in a second we went quickly out of the front door into the street. Fortunately, just then a policeman arrived and said, ‘What’s happening?’ ‘This man attacked me,’ I said. ‘Do you want me to arrest him?’ he asked. ‘No,’ I replied, ‘I was wrong too.’ The policeman walked away. The Professor looked at me and smiled a little. ‘Come in,’ he said, ‘I want to tell you something more.’ We entered his house again. Mrs Challenger was extremely angry. ‘You’re terrible! You’re not a famous professor at a great university because you always attack people!’ she shouted. The Professor grabbed his wife and put her on top of a pillar. ‘Put me down!’ she shouted. ‘Say please,’ he answered.

‘No, put me down, now!’ she continued. ‘No, say please,’ he said again. ‘Please! Please! Please!’ she shouted. Then the Professor took her down and gave her a big kiss. After this the Professor and I returned to his study. ‘I’m going to talk to you about South America,’ he said. ‘Two years ago I went on a journey to South America. I went to the Amazon to check some observations of the scientists Wallace and Bates.

During my stay in the Amazon I became a friend of the Cucama Indians. They told me that there was a sick man that needed help. But before I arrived the man died. I was surprised, however, when I saw him. He was a white man, not an Indian. His name was Maple White and he was from the United States. He was an artist. Here are some of his pictures. I looked at them. Some were of the Indians, and others were of different animals like turtles and alligators. ‘Well,’ I said, ‘these don’t seem very unusual.’ ‘Look at the next one,’ he said. It was a picture of a cliff with a thin, high tower of rock in front of it. ‘I don’t know anything about rocks,’ I said. ‘Well, try the next picture then,’ he said. The next one was of a man next to a huge and very strange lizard.

‘Why did he draw this?’ the Professor asked. ‘I don’t know. Perhaps he drank too much gin,’ I answered. ‘Or perhaps he really saw this creature,’ he said. I wanted to laugh, but I didn’t want to fight with him again. ‘Anyway,’ he continued, ‘the Indians took me to the cliffs in Maple White’s drawings. I took some photographs. Most of them got wet during my journey home. Here is one that you can still see. Look!’ I looked carefully at the photograph. It was not in very good condition. ‘What do you see?’ he asked. ‘I see the same cliffs and the rock tower of the drawing,’ I answered. ‘Yes, of course. But what do you see on the top of the rock tower?’ ‘I can see a tree.’ ‘And on top of the tree?’ ‘A large bird.’ ‘It’s not a bird at all,’ he concluded, ‘and I shot it.’ He then pulled a wing out of a drawer.

‘Is that the wing of a gigantic bat?’ I asked. ‘No,’ he answered, ‘it’s the wing of a pterodactyl. Look at this book.’ He then showed me an illustration in a book that compared the wings of birds, bats and pterodactyls. ‘This is incredible!’ I cried because now I really believed him. ‘How is it possible?’ ‘It seems that a volcanic action pushed up a huge area of rock millions of years ago. This area was protected and so the animals on this plateau continued to live. They never changed, and they’re still there today.’ ‘Why don’t you tell other scientists about your discoveries?’ ‘I told them about them but they laughed,’ he said.

‘Tonight there’s going to be a lecture at the Zoological Institute Hall on “The Record of the Ages” by Mr Waldron. I’ll be there. Come and you’ll see the reaction of other scientists to my discoveries.’ I promised to come, and left Professor Challenger. Chapter three ‘Question!’ That evening I arrived at the Zoological Institute Hall. Outside there was a large crowd of people.

Inside there were professors and also a large group of students. They were happy and noisy. Mr Waldron, some scientists and Professor Challenger sat at the front. Mr Waldron began his lecture. He told us about the origin of our planet. He told us about the evolution of life from simple sea animals to fish and reptiles and finally to mammals. Then he began to talk about the dinosaurs. ‘Fortunately, those terrible reptiles were extinct long before humans appeared on this planet.’ ‘Question!’ someone said in a loud voice. Mr Waldron stopped for a moment, but then he continued, ‘Those terrible reptiles which were extinct before the coming of man.’ ‘Question!’ shouted someone again. Mr Waldron looked with great surprise at the scientists near him. He then saw Professor Challenger with a smile on his face. ‘Ah, I understand,’ said Mr Waldron. ‘It’s my friend Professor Challenger,’ and then he continued his lecture.

But it did not end here. Every time Mr Waldron talked about extinct prehistoric life, Professor Challenger interrupted him Then the students began to shout, ‘Question!’ with the Professor. ‘These interruptions must end!’ shouted Mr Waldron angrily. For a moment there was silence in the hall. Then Challenger stood up. ‘I must ask you, Mr Waldron,’ he said, ‘to stop saying things that are not scientifically true.’ Some people began to shout, ‘Send him home!’, and others, ‘I want to hear him!’ Professor Challenger sat down again and smiled. Mr Waldror finished his lecture quickly. Finally, Professor Challenger had his chance to speak. ‘Ladies and gentlemen,’ he began, ‘Mr Waldron is not a real scientist. He only explains our work to the general public. He is wrong when he says that certain animals are extinct. Nobody here believes me, but I am a prophet of science. I am like Galilee and Darwin, and I… (here there was a long interruption).

The Professor walked forward and raised both hand. Everybody became silent. ‘I won’t say anymore. You can, however, test my ideas. Do you want to send somebody as your representative?’ Then, the famous scientist Professor Summerlee stood up. ‘Are you referring to the discoveries that you made in the Amazon two years ago?’ asked Professor Summerlee. ‘Yes, I am,’ replied Challenger. ‘And why didn’t Wallace, Bates and other famous explorers of that region see these things?’ continued Summerlee. ‘Perhaps, sir, you have confused the Thames with the Amazon. The Amazon is a much larger river,’ answered Challenger. ‘It’s about 6,000 kilometres long. It’s not strange that I saw things that they did not see.’ ‘Yes, of course,’ continued Summerlee, ‘I understand the difference: we can’t test or prove your discoveries.

Perhaps you can tell us the exact location of your discoveries.’ ‘I can’t give that information now. Will you go on an expedition to test my discoveries?’ ‘Yes, I will,’ answered Summerlee, and the crowd cheered. ‘Then,’ said Professor Challenger, ‘you’ll have all the information you need to go there. But you can’t go alone. Who will go with Professor Summerlee to the Amazon?’ This was a difficult moment for me, but I thought about Gladys.

‘I will go!’ I cried. ‘Name! Name!’ shouted the audience. ‘My name is Edward Dunn Malone. I’m a journalist for the Daily Gazette,’ I answered. In front of me, there was another man standing. ‘What’s your name, sir?’ asked Challenger. ‘I’m Lord John Roxton,’ he answered. ‘I’ve already been up the Amazon. I know the area well.’ ‘Lord John Roxton is a famous hunter and traveller. He and Mr Malone will be perfect for this mission,’ said Professor Challenger. The meeting was over. I walked out of the hall into the night. I was walking down the street when somebody touched my arm. It was Lord Roxton. ‘Mr Malone,’ he said, ‘we’ll be companions on this adventure. My house is near here. Come with me, I want to talk to you.’ We went to Lord Roxton’s house. It was full of strange objects from around the world and the heads of wild animals. He gave me something to drink and a cigar to smoke. We sat down in comfortable armchairs and began to talk.

‘Well,’ he said, ‘we did it, young man. I certainly didn’t plan to go on this expedition. What about you?’ ‘No, not at all.’ ‘Can you shoot?’ he asked. ‘Quite well,’ I answered. Then he took out a rifle and said, ‘This is a very good rifle. I used it against the slave traders 3 three years ago. Sometimes, young man, you must fight for human rights and justice. I fought my own personal war against the slave traders in Peru. I killed many of them. In the end, I killed Pedro Lopez, their leader.’ He then took out another gun and gave it to me. ‘So,’ he continued, ‘what do you know about Professor Challenger?’ ‘I met him for the first time today,’ I answered. ‘And how did you become interested in this expedition?’ he asked. I told him a little about my meeting with Professor Challenger, and he listened carefully. Then he pulled out a map of South America and put it on the table. ‘I believe he told you the truth,’ he said. ‘I love South America. I’ve seen it all. I think it’s the most wonderful place on this planet.

Once you know it, you’ll understand that anything is possible – anything. The Amazon River flows through a forest almost as big as Europe. Why can’t there be something new and wonderful in such a place? And why can’t we be the men to discover it?’ We talked a little more and then I left. *** Finally, the expedition was ready, and Professor Summerlee, Lord John Roxton and I walked towards the boat. But before we got on the boat, we heard somebody shout. It was Professor Challenger. ‘I have a few things to say,’ he began. ‘First, I have no reason to thank you. The truth is the truth, and your expedition has no importance to me. My directions and instructions are in this closed envelope.

You must open it when you arrive at a town on the Amazon called Manaos, and only on the day and at the time which is written on the outside of the envelope. Is that clear? Mr Malone you can write anything you want in your letters to the newspaper. But you can’t give any details about your exact destination. Goodbye, sir. After meeting you, I hate journalists a little less. Goodbye, Lord John. I can see that you don’t know anything at all about science, but you’ll be able to hunt dinosaurs. And goodbye to you also, Professor Summerlee. If you can possibly learn anything, I’m sure this expedition will be good for you.’ After this, he turned and left. Chapter four Into an Unknown World We travelled across the Atlantic to the city of Para in Brazil. Here we hired a black guide named Zambo, who fortunately spoke some English. We also hired Gomez and Manuel, who were half Indian. They both knew the Amazon very well. Then we travelled by boat up the Amazon to the town of Manaos. Finally, it was 15 July at 12 o’clock, the day and hour when we could open the envelope.

We were all standing around a table. Lord John picked up the envelope and opened it. He pulled out a piece of paper. He put it on the table, but there was nothing written on it. He turned it over, but there was nothing there. Professor Summerlee laughed. ‘With this piece of paper Professor Challenger is telling us that this is all ridiculous, and that he’s a fraud,’ he cried.

‘Now, we can return home and tell everybody that he’s a terrible liar.’ Just then we heard someone say, ‘Can I come in?’ There, to our great surprise, was Professor Challenger! ‘I’m afraid I’m a few minutes late,’ he said. ‘Is everything ready for your journey?’ ‘We can start tomorrow,’ I said, ‘Good. You don’t need a map now because I’m here.’ The next day we began our journey up the river in a boat called the Esmeralda. At the beginning the river was wide. It was like travelling on a lake. On the fourth day we turned into a tributary. Two days later we reached an Indian village. We got off the boat here, and, on 2 August, Professor Challenger sent the Esmeralda back to Manaos.

Some Indians built two canoes for us, and we took two more Indians with us. They were with Professor Challenger the first time. They seemed terrified to repeat the journey. We got into our canoes and began to travel up the narrow river in the middle of the primeval forest. Fabulous tall trees stood over us. They were like the columns of a church. On the third day we heard a strange noise. ‘What’s that?’ I asked. ‘Drums,’ said Lord John, ‘war drums. I have heard them before.’ ‘Yes, sir, war drums,’ said Gomez. ‘Wild Indians. Bad ones not good ones. They watch us every mile of the way. They’ll kill us when they can.’ The drums seemed to say, ‘We’ll kill you if we can. We’ll kill you if we can.’ Our two professors were not afraid at all.

They were too interested in the wonderful plants and animals around them, or they were too busy arguing about scientific theories. That night we slept in the canoes in the middle of the river. We waited for an attack, but nothing happened. The next day we arrived at some rapids about a mile long. These were the rapids where Professor Challenger lost most of his photos on his earlier journey. We carried the canoes around them. That night we were about ten miles above the rapids. The next day we continued our journey until Professor Challenger said, ‘Look at that palm tree there. That’s the entrance to an unknown world.’ We pushed the canoes past the palm until we arrived at a shallow, transparent stream. It flowed through a low tunnel of green plants. The sound of the drums slowly disappeared, and the wild animals became less afraid of us.

On the third day we could no longer travel by canoe because the stream was not deep enough. We began our journey on foot. The characteristics of the land changed. We began walking higher up. The tropical forest disappeared, and there were only palm trees. After we left the canoes we walked for 120 miles. Finally we came to an area where there were no more trees. Then we came to a bamboo forest. It took us all day to cross it. The next day we climbed up a hill. Suddenly, Professor Challenger saw a gigantic bird fly up slowly from the ground. ‘Did you see? Did you see it, Summerlee?’ he shouted. ‘What do you think it was?’ Summerlee asked. ‘I believe it was a pterodactyl,’ he answered. ‘How absurd! It was just a big bird,’ said Professor Summerlee. Professor Challenger was too angry to speak and we continued our journey.

Lord John then came up to me. He was holding his binoculars. ‘That was certainly not like any bird that I’ve ever seen,’ he said to me. We crossed another hill and then we saw the high red cliffs of Maple White’s picture. They were about seven miles from our camp. Chapter five The Rock Tower That night we made our camp at the base of the cliffs.

The high tower of rock was near us, and on top of it was one high tree. ‘The pterodactyl that I shot was on that tree,’ said Professor Challenger. Professor Summerlee, for the first time, seemed to believe Professor Challenger. ‘But,’ continued Professor Challenger, ‘we still have a big problem. How can we get to the plateau? There must be a way up because Maple White arrived there. During my last expedition I explored to the east.’ ‘Well,’ said Lord John, ‘we should explore to the west.’ The next day we walked west, and we arrived at Maple White’s old camp.

There we found an indication left by Maple White. It pointed west. Soon we came to an area of bamboo under the cliffs. In the middle of this I saw something white. We cut away some of the bamboo, and discovered a skull and then a skeleton. The skeleton had clothes and boots. It was obviously a European. ‘Who is this?’ asked Lord John. ‘Every bone in his body is broken.’ ‘I know who he is,’ said Professor Challenger. ‘It’s James Clover, Maple White’s friend. Maple White didn’t come here alone.’ ‘It’s also clear,’ said Lord John, ‘that he fell from the top of the cliffs, or somebody pushed him. We were all silent. Did someone throw him? We began to think of the possible dangers in that unknown land above us. We continued walking until we saw an arrow marked on the rocks of the cliffs. ‘Maple White again,’ said Professor Challenger.

We continued for another five miles and came to an opening in the cliffs. There was another arrow pointing higher up. We followed this arrow and came to a cave. There was another arrow there. Lord John had an electric torch, and we entered the cave. But the cave was blocked by large rocks. This was the way Maple White arrived at the top. But now we could not use it. The next day we walked twenty-two miles around the base of the cliffs, and made camp again. Lord John shot a large animal called an agouti for our dinner. We gave half to the Indians, and we cooked half of it over a fire. That night there was no moon and it was very dark. Then something incredible happened.

Suddenly we heard the sound of gigantic wings from above. Then, for a second, in the light of the fire we saw a long neck, two red eyes and a beak with teeth. Then this creature flew away with our dinner. It was a pterodactyl! We were all shocked and Summerlee was the first to speak. ‘Professor Challenger,’ he said very seriously, ‘I must apologise. I was wrong.’ The next day we continued to walk around the cliffs. However, we didn’t find a way up to the top. Then, after five days we arrived at our first camp again. When we went to bed we were very depressed. The next morning Professor Challenger was very happy. ‘I have found a way to the top,’ he said. ‘How?’ I asked. Professor Challenger pointed to the top of the tower.

‘Yes,’ I said, ‘we can get to the top of that tower. But there is a gap between the tower and the plateau.’ ‘When we are on the top I will show you,’ said Professor Challenger. With the help of ropes, we climbed to the top. Professor Challenger looked at the tall tree on the top and said, ‘This tree will save us.’ ‘A bridge!’ cried Lord John. ‘Exactly, my friends, a bridge!’ said Challenger. ‘And now our strong young friend will cut down the tree.’ He then gave me an axe.

I began to cut down the tree. It finally fell down, and made a bridge for us. The four of us then crossed. We were in the wonderful new world. It was a moment of victory. We walked forward a little bit and then we heard a loud noise. We returned to the edge of the cliff. Our bridge was gone. Then we saw Gomez on the other side. ‘I pushed the tree down,’ he shouted. ‘You can never get down now. You’ll die up there! I am Lopez’s brother, the man Lord John shot five years ago. Now I can die happy.’ Gomez began to go down the tower, but Lord John shot him. We were certainly trapped. We called Zambo, and with the ropes we pulled up some food. The next morning we made our camp. Then we began our exploration of the plateau, which we called Maple White Land. Lord John walked in front.

After we walked for a couple of minutes, he stopped. ‘Look at this!’ he said, ‘these are the tracks of the biggest bird in the world!’ ‘Not a bird,’ said Professor Challenger. ‘What then?’ asked Lord John. ‘A dinosaur,’ Professor Challenger answered. We continued walking and came to an opening in the forest. There in front of us were five of the most incredible creatures in the world – two adults and three young ones. They had skin like a reptile. They looked like gigantic kangaroos. Lord John held his gun. The two professors were excited and happy. Unconsciously, they held each other’s hand and watched like two young children. ‘What will they say in England about this?’ Professor Summerlee asked. ‘I know exactly what they will say,’ Professor Challenger replied. ‘They’ll say that we are frauds.’ ‘And if we take photographs?’ ‘They’ll say that they are fakes,’ said Challenger.

‘And if we bring back a dinosaur?’ said Summerlee. ‘Well, then, perhaps, they’ll believe us,’ said Challenger. ‘Iguanodons,’ said Summerlee. ‘You can find their fossil footprints all over the South of England. They lived there millions of years ago, but conditions changed. Here conditions haven’t changed and these animals have lived.’ We continued walking. Finally we came to a very large hole. At the bottom of this hole was a small area of water. Around this water were the pterodactyls’ nests. It was a horrible thing to see. Professor Challenger went too close and they saw us. They began to attack us. We were very fortunate to survive. That night, in our camp, Lord John came to talk to me. ‘Malone,’ he said, ‘do you remember the place where those pterodactyls were?’ ‘Very clearly.’ ‘It was a kind of volcanic hole.’ ‘Yes, exactly.’ ‘It had a blue colour.’ ‘Yes, but why?’ ‘Oh, nothing, nothing,’ he answered and walked away.

CHAPTER SIX I Was the Hero The next day we stayed in the camp. We were very tired from our adventures. That night we heard horrible cries from the forest. ‘What was that?’ I said quietly. ‘We’ve just heard,’ replied Challenger, ‘the sounds of a prehistoric tragedy. Some carnivorous dragon has killed an iguanodon.’ Then Summerlee raised his hand. ‘Quiet!’ he cried. ‘I hear something.’ Some giant creature was coming towards our camp. ‘I think it’s going to jump into our camp!’ I said, preparing my rifle. ‘Don’t shoot!’ said Lord John quietly. ‘If it jumps into our camp it’ll kill us all,’ said Summerlee. ‘I have an idea,’ cried Lord John. Then he did something incredibly courageous.

He picked up a burning torch from the fire. Then he went quickly out of the area of our camp. He ran towards the creature. In that moment we could see it in the light. It was all covered with blood. A moment later, the horrible creature ran away. ‘I knew it!’ said Lord John laughing. ‘That monster is afraid of fire.’ The next day, we found pieces of iguanodon on the ground. The two professors examined them carefully. ‘In my opinion,’ said Professor Challenger, ‘that horrible creature was an Allosaurus.’ That evening we returned to the camp and began to discuss our future plans. ‘Tomorrow,’ said Professor Summerlee, ‘we should try to leave this land.’ ‘What?’ said Professor Challenger.

‘We must explore it. I am surprised at you, Professor Summerlee.’ ‘Professor Challenger,’ responded Professor Summerlee, ‘If we are killed, nobody in London will ever know about our discoveries. We can return to London and then prepare a larger expedition. Now we must leave this plateau.’ ‘Perhaps you’re right,’ answered Challenger, ‘but first we must at least make a map of Maple White Land.’ ‘That will take too much time,’ said Summerlee. ‘There are no high mountains. How can we see all of the plateau?’ Then I had an idea. There was a very large tree near us. ‘I can go up to the top of this tree,’ I said. ‘There I can see all of the plateau and make a map.’ I began to climb the tree. After a minute or two, I saw something incredible: a face. The face of a horrible red apeman was looking at me. It made angry noises at me, but then it disappeared quickly.

I was shocked, but I decided to continue to climb. When I arrived at the top, I looked around. In the distance I saw a lake. Then I drew a map of Maple White Land. When I came down again, I described the apeman to my friends. ‘Perhaps,’ said Challenger, ‘It was a kind of primitive man between ape and man: the missing link! We must discover more about it.’ ‘No,’ said Summerlee, ‘we must leave this land. Now we have the map, we can try to return to civilisation.’ That night I was too excited to sleep after my adventure. I thought about Gladys. She wanted me to be a hero. I could go to explore the central lake alone. I could go during the night and be back before morning. I left the camp quietly and walked towards the lake. There was a bright moon and I could see well. I arrived at the edge of the lake at one o’clock. I climbed up on a large rock and looked around. I could see some cliffs on the other side of the plateau. There were a series of caves in these cliffs.

Now I could see lights in them! So, there were humans on the plateau! I could see many creatures in the lake. One had a long neck and swam in the water. Then I heard the sound of a large animal walking very near me. I saw it. It was very familiar to me. But why? Then I remembered, it was the creature in Maple White’s drawing – a stegosaurus. When I looked at my watch again, it was two o’clock. It was time to return to the camp. I walked and thought about my great discoveries. Then, after a few minutes, I heard something behind me. The sound came closer. I turned and saw that horrible monster, the Allosaurus. I decided to run, but the creature began to run too. He came closer.

I was terrified. I screamed. And then I heard a crash – I was falling down into a deep hole, and then everything became dark. I was unconscious for a few minutes. When I woke up, I smelled something horrible. Around me there were large pieces of old meat. I was in a trap for dinosaurs, a trap made by humans! I slowly climbed out of the hole, and continued my walk to the camp. Suddenly, I heard the sound of a rifle. I ran towards the camp, and shouted. Nobody answered. When I arrived I saw blood on the ground. All my friends were gone. I was alone in that world. But then I remembered Zambo.

I went to the edge of the cliff. Zambo was still there at his camp waiting for us. There was an Indian with him. Zambo climbed up to the top of the tower of rock. When he was opposite me I threw a letter to him for the Indian to take to the nearest village. Maybe he could bring ropes to help us climb down. Chapter seven Prisoners of the Apemen I went back to our camp and tried to get some rest. It was horrible to try and sleep here, but it was safer than the jungle! The thought that I could die in this place made me very unhappy. The light from Zambo’s fire was the only hope of escape from this dangerous world. The next morning Sir John woke me up. ‘Quick! Quick, young man!’ he said. ‘What? What is it?’ I cried. ‘Don’t stop to think or talk! Just get the rifles and some food!’ he responded.

In a moment we had everything and began running away. Finally, we found a place to hide and stopped to rest. I told him quickly about my adventures the night before. ‘But what happened to you?’ I asked him. ‘Well,’ he began, ‘early yesterday morning hundreds of apes started jumping down from the trees above us. They captured us all and took us to where they live. They tied Summerlee and me up. But strangely enough, Challenger looked a lot like the king of the apemen! They gave him special treatment. He stayed with the king and ate fruit. You see, this plateau is divided between the apemen and the Indians. The caves you saw with lights belong to the Indians. There’s a constant war between the two groups. In fact, yesterday, the apemen brought back twelve prisoners. They pulled the arms off of two of them and killed them. It was a horrible thing to see. We also discovered that they have a special ceremony. They take their prisoners to the edge of the cliff and then they throw them off.

That is what happened to James Clover, Maple White’s friend. Yesterday, they pushed four of the Indians off the cliffs. Early this morning I escaped and went to our camp. There I got you and the guns, and here we are.’ After we rested and talked, we ran quickly to where the apemen lived. We arrived and hid behind some trees. I saw something that I will never forget. There was an open area of grass near the edge of the cliffs. The small houses of the apemen were in the trees, and they were made of leaves. In this area there were about one hundred apemen. In front of them there was a little group of Indians and Professor Summerlee. Then I saw two other strange individuals.

One of them was Professor Challenger, and the other was the king of the apemen. Both of them were short with big chests and large heads. They were both covered with hair. The big difference between the two was that the Professor’s hair was black and the king’s hair was red. Then the apemen took one of the Indians and pushed him off the cliffs. They waited for their next victim. This time it was Summerlee. Two of the apemen caught him by the arms. Challenger turned to the king. He tried to convince him not to kill Summerlee. The king pushed Challenger away and then, in that moment, Lord John shot him.

‘Shoot them! Shoot, young man, shoot!’ he cried. Professor Challenger and I helped Summerlee to run away. Lord John continued to shoot the apemen. We ran and ran. Finally we arrived at our camp. We thought we were safe, but then we heard the sound of feet. Lord John went outside with his rifle and found the surviving Indians. They were very frightened. One of them, we thought, was their chief. We could not stay in the camp. The apemen knew where it was. We left with the Indians and found another place to hide. That night, before we slept, Professor Challenger came to me. ‘Mr Malone,’ he said very seriously, ‘you won’t write that I looked like the king of the apemen?’ ‘Professor, I’ll only write the truth,’ I answered. ‘Very good,’ said Professor Challenger, and went to sleep. The next morning we decided to go to the Indian caves.

We left the forest and walked across an open area. When we arrived at the lake, our Indian friends began to shout with joy. A large number of canoes were coming towards us. When they arrived on land, an older Indian came and embraced the young chief. They had spears and bows and arrows. They were there to save their young chief from the apemen. Then the young chief began to talk to his men. He told them that now was the time to attack and defeat the apemen for the last time. They were all together and they had the help of these strange men with great magic – our rifles. We, too, decided to go with them the next day to fight the apemen. That evening we made our camp by the lake. We saw many strange creatures in the water with long necks. One of them came out of the water onto the beach. ‘Plesiosaurus! It’s a plesiosaurus!’ cried Summerlee. ‘My dear Challenger, we’re the luckiest zoologists that have ever lived!’ Lord John was not interested in the wonderful animals. Again, he noticed the blue colour of the ground near some volcanic holes.

The next day more Indians came. Now there were about four or five hundred of them. We all went towards the forest to fight our war against the apemen. Before we arrived, the apemen attacked us. In the open, it was easy to defeat them. When we went in the forest it was more difficult. But, with the help of the rifles, in the end the Indians won. After the battle Challenger turned to us and said, ‘We’ve seen one of the typical great battles of history. What, my friends, is the victory of one nation over another nation? It’s not important. The result is always the same. The most important victories of human history were different. They were the victories of primitive man over tigers, of primitive man over apemen.

Now the future on this plateau belongs to man.’ CHAPTER EIGHT Back to London After the victory, the Indians invited us to stay with them in their caves. Lord John did not think this was a good idea. So, we made our camp near their caves. We now had time to observe the animals of the lake and the plateau. There were many fascinating things to see. But we wanted to go back home. The Indians never helped us. It was clear that they wanted us to stay. With the magic of the rifles, they felt safe. Every time we asked them for rope or wood to build a bridge, they just smiled. Finally, the young chief came to us. He gave us a piece of bark. We took it back to our camp and studied it.

‘It’s very important,’ I said. ‘He was very serious when he gave it to us.’ ‘Maybe it’s a joke,’ Summerlee suggested. ‘It’s clearly some kind of writing,’ said Challenger. ‘It looks like a puzzle,’ said Lord John. Then he grabbed the piece of bark. ‘I’ve got it! he cried, ‘How many marks are there? Eighteen. Well, there are eighteen caves above us.’ ‘He pointed to the caves when he gave it to me,’ I said. ‘Well, then it’s certain. This is a map of the caves. Here’s a cross. What is the cross for? It’s next to a cave that is longer than the other ones.’ ‘It’s a cave that goes to the other side of the cliff,’ I cried. ‘I believe our young friend has solved the problem,’ Challenger said. We got some torches and went to explore the cave. We didn’t light the torches at first. We walked in the dark because we did not want the Indians to see us. After walking a long way we lit the torches, and walked quickly. Then we arrived at a wall of rock.

We all became sad. ‘Maybe this is the wrong cave,’ I said. ‘No, young man,’ Lord John said, ‘this is the right cave.’ I looked at the mark on the map again, and I cried with joy. ‘Follow me! Follow me!’ I shouted. We ran back in the cave. ‘Here,’ I said, ‘is where we lit the torches. But the cave has two arms. We didn’t see the right one.’ We walked back a short distance and found a large black opening. We went quickly down this arm of the cave. After a while we saw a light. We ran towards it. We were at an opening on the cliff face. ‘It’s the moon!’ cried Lord John. He was right. We looked down from the opening and saw that we were nearer to the ground than we were to the top. It wasn’t going to be easy to get down, but with our rope we could do it. We then returned to our camp. The next evening we secretly took our things to the cave. Professor Challenger wanted to bring a large box but we managed to get it down.

We arrived at our old camp. There was Zambo and about twenty Indians. They helped us to get back to Para. I will not describe our voyage back to England. I will only say that the news of our great discoveries reached England before our arrival. We received many telegrams asking us for information. But we decided not to tell the newspapers anything about our discoveries. First we wanted to give a complete description of our discoveries to the members of the Zoological Institute. About five thousand people came to the Queen’s Hall to hear about our adventures. It was a wonderful evening. When we arrived in the room, the audience cheered for a long time. Then Professor Summerlee began his presentation.

He talked about the new insects and plants. He told everyone about the prehistoric animals from the Jurassic period. He described the iguanodon, the pterodactyls, the allosaurus and the stegosaurus. He also talked about the apemen and the Indians of the plateau. At the end of his talk, a scientist named Professor Illingworth stood up. ‘This is all very wonderful, certainly,’ he said, ‘but they have no real proof!’ The audience began to shout, and Professor Challenger stood up. ‘Well, sir,’ Professor Challenger said, ‘Summerlee has his collection of plants and insects. Doesn’t that convince you?’ ‘No, it doesn’t.’ ‘We have some photographs.’ ‘Photographs can be faked,’ Professor Illingworth said. ‘Do you want to see the creatures for yourself?’ Professor Challenger asked. ‘Yes, of course,’ Professor Illingworth answered. ‘And you will accept that as proof?’ ‘Certainly,’ answered Illingworth. At that moment, Professor Challenger made a signal. Zambo and I came up to the stage. We carried a large, heavy box which we put down. Professor Challenger took off the cover. He looked into the box and said, ‘Come out, you pretty thing!’ Then, a young pterodactyl jumped up onto the edge of the box.

Everybody was shocked. Some ladies screamed. Suddenly, the pterodactyl flew up over the heads of the audience. It flew around in large circles. ‘Shut the windows! Shut the windows!’ Professor Challenger shouted. But, there was an open window, and the pterodactyl flew out. Now everybody believed us, and the crowd carried us out of the hall on their shoulders. We were heroes. But what about Gladys? Now, I really was a hero. Well, when I arrived in England, there was no telegram from her. I was very worried and went directly to her house. When I went inside, she was at the piano. ‘Gladys!’ I cried, ‘Gladys!’ She looked at me with surprise. She was different. ‘Gladys!’ I cried.

‘What’s wrong? You’re my Gladys – Gladys Hungerton?’ ‘No,’ she said, ‘I’m Gladys Potts. This is my husband.’ Life is certainly absurd. I said hello to a short man with red hair. ‘I told my husband about us,’ Gladys continued. ‘We have no secrets. Anyway, you left me for your adventure. So I don’t think you really loved me very much.’ I turned to leave, but then I decided to ask Gladys’s husband a question. ‘How did you win her?’ I asked. ‘Did you go to the North Pole? Did you travel with pirates?’ ‘That’s a little personal,’ he replied. ‘Well, just one more question then,’ I continued. ‘What’s your job?’ ‘I work in an office,’ he replied. I left Gladys and her new husband. I felt angry, but I also laughed at the absurdity of the situation. I will now describe one more scene before I finish. Yesterday, Professor Summerlee, Professor Challenger and I had dinner at Lord John’s house. After dinner, Lord John spoke to us. ‘Well,’ he said, ‘there’s one thing I want to tell you. Do you remember that I noticed a strange blue colour around the volcanic holes? Well, I’ve seen volcanic holes like that only in South Africa near the great diamond mines of Kimberley.’ Then he opened a little box and took out about thirty stones.

‘Well, I found these near the hole where we saw the pterodactyls. I didn’t tell you about them earlier because I wanted to be certain. Anyway, an expert looked at them. He said they have a price of at least two hundred thousand pounds. Of course, we will divide this money equally. Well, Challenger, what will you do with your fifty thousand?’ ‘I think,’ Professor Challenger said, ‘that I’ll build a private museum. That has always been one of my dreams.’ ‘And you, Summerlee?’ ‘I’ll stop teaching and work on all my collections,’ he replied. ‘I’ll use my part of the money,’ Lord John said, ‘to prepare another expedition to our plateau. And you, young man, of course, will use your money to get married.’ ‘Not now,’ I said sadly.

‘But if you want me, I’ll be happy to come with you.’ Lord John said nothing, but he offered me his hand. – THE END -. “}

As found on Youtube

Study English in London

Learn English and Improve Vocabulary through Story: Swan lake (level 1)

{“en”:”Chapter one Prince Zigfried Once upon a time, in a faraway land, there lived a Prince. His name was Zigfried, and he was very unhappy. His father, the King, had died, and since then, everyone in the palace had forgotten how to smile. Without his father, Zigfried thought he would never feel happy again. Every day, Zigfried sat at the window in his room in the palace, looking at the birds in the trees. “How can they sing and fly so free? They must not feel like me.” His servant, Ozlowe, tried to make the prince smile by telling him jokes or doing funny tricks for him. But the Prince would not smile. “I know you love me Ozlowe, but I cannot smile. My heart is broken.” Ozlowe would not give up. “Let’s go for a walk, good Prince. Maybe we can find something outside which will make you happy.” “If you wish Ozlowe, but I don’t think there’s anything that can make me happy.” Ozlowe put on his hunting cap, and he took his crossbow.

He enjoyed hunting and he hoped to catch a bird or a rabbit for the Prince. They walked through the forest until they came to a lake. On the lake there was a beautiful white swan. It had a gold crown on its head, that only Princesses wear. The swan swam towards the prince and looked into his eyes. The swan’s eyes were so sad that Prince Zigfried felt sorry for it. “Here is a creature which feels worse than I do. But why do you have that crown on your head?” The swan opened its wings and cried out. “I think it’s trying to tell me something.” Ozlowe had his crossbow in his hands. He wanted to shoot the swan. “I’ll get that swan for you. Prince. Just one minute.” “Ozlowe, no!” Before Ozlowe could shoot, a magic owl flew from a tree and took Ozlowe’s cap off his head.

This cast a spell on him, and he was turned to stone. The Prince did not understand. “Ozlowe, what has happened to you? Speak to me!” He looked back at the lake. The swan was gone. “Everything I do goes wrong. This must have happened because of me!” The Prince returned to the palace sadder than before, thinking to himself: “If only Ozlowe were here! There is nothing good in my life any more”. Zigfried’s mother came to see him that night. She had something important to say. “Zigfried, soon you will be eighteen years old. You must take your father’s place as King. I am having a ball on your birthday so that you may choose a wife, and I will invite all the princesses from the other kingdoms.” “But I do not wish to marry, Mother.

I do not love anyone.” “You will learn to love someone. First, you must stop thinking of yourself.” “If this will make you happy, I’ll do it, Mother.” “It is not for my happiness that I am doing this. It is for yours, and all the other people in this land. You see, love is more powerful than we know. Without it, you will not be a great King.” His mother left him. He sat at the window, thinking of what she had said. He wanted to love someone with all his heart, but he didn’t know who it would be. Chapter two The Beautiful Princess On the morning of the Royal Ball, everybody was very busy in the palace. The Queen’s maids were preparing the Queen’s dress. The servants cleaned the floors and windows, and the cooks were cooking enough food for a thousand people. The prince looked handsome in his red outfit. But he was still not happy. He left the palace to be alone and think, and went to the stone statue of Ozlowe. “It’s my birthday today Ozlowe. I’m eighteen. That means that I must marry someone and become King. The problem is I don’t want to get married; I don’t love anyone.” There was a quiet splashing in the lake.

Zigfried looked and saw the beautiful swan with the gold crown. “There it is! The beautiful swan has come back.” He went closer to the water to look at it. Its eyes had the same sadness in them, but it was happy to see Zigfried and it swam close to him. Zigfried looked into its eyes and talked to it. “I think you understand me. I think you know how people feel.” A tear fell from the swan’s eye. “Don’t cry. You should be happy that you are a swan. You will never have to marry someone you do not love. You will never feel sad when someone dies.” The swan made a loud cry. Its wings moved back and forth at its sides. Suddenly, an owl appeared as if from nowhere and flew at Zigfried’s head, but it missed. The owl flew off, and the swan began to swim away. “Wait. Don’t leave.” Zigfried ran round the edge of the lake, following the swan. He had to run fast to see where it went.

Soon, he was in a part of the forest he did not know. Tall trees blocked out the sun. It was very dark. The swan swam to an ugly old castle. When it left the water, something magical happened; the swan turned into a beautiful Princess. She had long blonde hair and she wore a long white dress. The crown was still on her head. Zigfried ran to where she stood at the castle door. “Wait! Where are you going?” The Princess stopped, but she did not look at him. “Look at me, please. My name is Prince Zigfried and I want to know who you are.” The Princess turned to look at the Prince. She had the same dark, sad eyes of the swan. “My name is Princess Odile.” “But why were you a swan? Why do you look so sad?” “An evil wizard called Rocford cast a spell on me. I may only leave the castle during the day as a swan.” “Where is this wizard? I will talk to him. I will tell him this is wrong.” “No, you mustn’t. He will hurt you, I know. He does not want me to see another man.” “Tell me where this man is! I will fight him and free you.” “No, you must leave.

He is dangerous.” “I won’t leave until I see him; You must be set free.” “Please. You are very kind, but you must go away.” “I won’t!” She looked into his eyes again. “If you want to do something for me, you will leave now.” “Odile, I will leave if you want me to. But I want you to come to the ball tonight. I must choose a wife and I want to choose you.” “I can’t. The wizard won’t let me.” “Find a way. Promise me you’ll try.” She spoke softly. “All right. I’ll try.” Chapter three Odet Zigfried left, and Odile went inside the castle. Odet, the wizard’s evil daughter, was behind a tree. When she saw Odile talking to the Prince, she was jealous; she wanted to go to the ball, and what was more, she wanted to marry the Prince. She didn’t like Odile, because she was so beautiful and kind. But the wizard loved her, so Odet couldn’t do anything to hurt her… until now! Odet went to the wizard’s room, but he was not there. The room looked like a museum. There was an Egyptian statue against one wall, and large aquariums full of strange fish.

On a table stood many different coloured bottles. Odet opened one of the bottles. Smoke came out of it. It smelled of burning wood. The magic owl flew into the open window, unseen by Odet, and changed back into the wizard. “Do you like the smell?” “Oh, Father! You scared me.” “You wouldn’t be afraid if you were not in my room when I wasn’t here.” “I know father, but I have something very important to tell you. It’s about Odile.” The wizard opened his eyes wide. He was a tall man, with a long, white beard and long, white hair. He wore a big black hat and a long black robe with stars on it. “Tell me what you know!” “First, you must promise to do something for me.” “What is it?” “I can’t tell you now. First, I must tell you about Odile, then I will ask for something. Will you do it?” “Tell me, before I turn you into a frog!” The wizard was very much in love with Odile. He would change his daughter into a frog because he wanted to know about Odile.

“Today, I saw Odile talking to Prince Zigfried. The Prince asked Odile to go to the royal ball tonight. He wants to marry her and free her from your evil powers.” The wizard turned in a circle and pointed his hand at the floor. Fire came from his fingers and hit the floor. The whole castle shook. “I should have destroyed the Prince today, when I saw him with Odile.” “You saw him, too?” “Yes, at the lake. I attacked him, but I was only an owl. Odile knew this and she left him. He must have followed her here.” “Oh yes Father, and he is so handsome! You should see his face!” “Silence!” The wizard turned himself into a large, stone ball. He threw himself against the walls, making the castle shake again. Alone in her room, Odile felt the castle shaking. She hid her head under a pillow on her bed; she hated it when the wizard got angry. The wizard changed back into himself in his room. “Now Father, you promised you’d do something for me.” “I never promised you anything!” “Oh, Father.

I want to go to the ball! I want to marry the prince.” The wizard angrily raised his hand again. Then, he thought of something. Slowly, he lowered his hand. “You would like to go to the ball, wouldn’t you?” “Oh yes, Father!” “And you would like to marry the prince?” “Yes, I would.” “Then you will, and he will think that you are Odile.” “Oh Father, what a wonderful idea!” She put her arms around him. His body was cold as stone, and his eyes were filled with fire.

Chapter four A bird in a cage Odile’s room was at the top of the castle tower. Rocford had put her there, after he had taken her from her parents. She was the most beautiful Princess in the land, and her parents were good and kind. Rocford had asked her father if he could marry Odile. “We must ask my daughter what she thinks.” Odile was brought to the wizard. “Odile, this man lias asked to marry you. He says he is very rich and that he will make you the happiest princess in the world. What do you think?” Odile looked into the wizard’s eyes. “Do you promise to love me forever, with all your heart?” Will you love me so much that you will not think of what you want, even if it hurts you to do this?” The look in her eyes and her questions made Rocford uncomfortable. “Why do you ask me such questions? I told your father I could give you everything you could want.” The Princess smiled and turned her head away.

“I’m sorry Father, but I will not marry this man. He does not know what love is.” They did not know then that he was a wizard. Rocford had looked like a Prince. He wore beautiful clothes and looked very handsome. But, when he heard what Odile said to her father, his face began to change. It became old and ugly. His clothes changed from blue to black. “You do not know what you are saying, you silly girl. I do not have to ask for what I want.

I am a wizard, and I can do anything I please.” He waved his hands through the air, and a fire started in the castle where the Princess and her parents lived. He had turned Odile into a small bird in a cage, and carried her to his castle where he locked her up in a tower. The entire kingdom was destroyed by this fire, and her parents were killed. There was a real bird in a cage in Odile’s room at the wizard’s castle. The wizard had put it there so that Odile would remember the power he had over her. He only let her leave the castle as a swan because he did not want other men to fall in love with her.

At night, she stayed in her room talking to the bird, who was her only friend. She called the bird Patrice, because it was her mother’s name. “Oh Patrice, what should I do? The ball is tonight, and I am a prisoner here. I believe the Prince loves me with all his heart. I saw it in his eyes. He loved me even as a swan.” The bird began moving its wings wildly. It always knew when something horrible was about to happen. “What is it Patrice, what are you afraid of?” Odile heard keys in her locked door.

She put the bird and its cage behind a curtain, because she did not want the bird to see what was about to happen. Chapter five Odet’s New Voice The wizard entered Odile’s room with Odet. Odet was the same age and height as Odile, but she had dark hair. However, she wasn’t as beautiful as Odile, and this made her very jealous. The wizard spoke first.

“Sit down, Odile. I would like to ask you something.” The wizard waved his hand and a large and very comfortable pink chair appeared. Odile sat on it. “Odet tells me that you would like to go to the ball tonight. Is that true?” “Yes.” “If I let you go to this ball, will you promise to marry me?” “I have told you, I will only marry a man who loves me and who I love.” “But you know I love you.” “If you loved me, you wouldn’t keep me locked up in this castle. You wouldn’t have killed my parents.” “You are a fool! Would you like to marry the Prince? Is that it?” “He loves me more than you do.” “How do you know? He left you here with me. That shows you that you are wrong. He is afraid of me. He can’t love you very much if he is afraid.” “He did it for me! I asked him to do it!” “And did you tell him that you would go to the ball?” “Yes.” “Then you lied. You knew I would not let you go.” “I said I would try. He knows that if I do not go it is not because I do not want to.” “And how does he know this?” “You do not have to cast a spell on someone or make them rich to love you.

You understand it by looking in their eyes. You know it by the way they speak and act.” “You are a dreamer!” “And you have no heart!” “Silence!” The wizard raised both his arms and the castle shook. The curtain on the wall fell down, and the wizard saw the bird in the cage. “Ah, the bird.” “If you hurt that bird you are worse than I thought.” The bird flew wildly as the wizard walked towards it. He picked up the cage. “Now, why would I hurt this bird? It is like me. It has no heart. It does not feel anything when I do this.” The wizard pointed his fingers at Odet. She changed into Odile. She had the same blonde hair, the same eyes. She was even wearing the crown. Odile stood up. “Tonight, Odet will go to the ball as you, Odile. Zigfried will marry her and we will see what true love is.

Your hearts are nothing compared to my magic.” “You may look like me Odet, but there is something missing from your eyes. The prince will know this.” “He does not love you Odile. He only loves what you look like.” “I almost forgot!” The wizard waved his hand. “Odet, say something.” When Odet spoke, she sounded just like Odile. “Hello, Prince Zigfried. It’s me, Odile. I love you.” Odile ran to her bed, crying. She fell on the bed and covered her face. Rocford laughed loudly. He took Odet out of the room and locked the door behind him. When Odile looked up, only the bird was with her. It too, had a tear in its eye.. “}

As found on Youtube

Study English in London

Learn English Through Story Subtitles: Goodbye, Mr Hollywood (Level 1)

CHAPTER ONE; Mystery girl It all began on a beautiful spring morning in a village called Whistler, in Canada – a pretty little village in the mountains of British Columbia. There was a cafe in the village, with tables outside, and at one of these tables sat a young man. He finished his breakfast, drank his coffee, looked up into the blue sky, and felt the warm sun on his face. Nick Lortz was a happy man. The waiter came up to his table. ‘More coffee?’ he asked. ‘Yeah. Great,’ said Nick. He gave the waiter his coffee cup. The waiter looked at the camera on the table. ‘On vacation?’ he said. ‘Where are you from?’ ‘San Francisco,’ Nick said. He laughed. ‘But I’m not on vacation – I’m working. I’m a travel writer, and I’m doing a book on mountains in North America. I’ve got some great pictures of your mountain.’ The two men looked up at Whistler Mountain behind the village. It looked very beautiful in the morning sun.

‘Do you travel a lot, then?’ asked the waiter. ‘All the time,’ Nick said. ‘I write books, and I write for travel magazines. I write about everything – different countries, towns, villages, rivers, mountains, people . . .’ The waiter looked over Nick’s head. ‘There’s a girl across the street,’ he said. ‘Do you know her?’ Nick turned his head and looked. ‘No, I don’t.’ ‘Well, she knows you, I think,’ the waiter said. ‘She’s watching you very carefully.’ He gave Nick a smile. ‘Have a nice day!’ He went away, back into the cafe.

Nick looked at the girl across the street. She was about twenty-five, and she was very pretty. ‘She is watching me,’ Nick thought. Then the girl turned and looked in one of the shop windows. After a second or two, she looked back at Nick again. Nick watched her. ‘She looks worried,’ he thought. ‘What’s she doing? Is she waiting for somebody?’ Suddenly, the girl smiled. Then she walked across the street, came up to Nick’s table, and sat down. She put her bag down on the table. The bag was half-open. ‘Hi! I’m Jan,’ she said. ‘Do you remember me? We met at a party in Toronto.’ ‘Hi, Jan,’ said Nick. He smiled. ‘I’m Nick. But we didn’t meet at a party in Toronto. I don’t go to parties very often, and never in Toronto.’ ‘Oh,’ the girl said. But she didn’t get up or move away. ‘Have some coffee,’ said Nick. The story about the party in Toronto wasn’t true, but it was a beautiful morning, and she was a pretty girl.

‘Maybe it was a party in Montreal. Or New York.’ The girl laughed. ‘OK. Maybe it was. And yes, I’d love some coffee.’ When she had her coffee, Nick asked, ‘What are you doing in Whistler? Or do you live here?’ ‘Oh no,’ she said. ‘I’m just, er, just travelling through. And what are you doing here?’ ‘I’m a travel writer,’ Nick said, ‘and I’m writing a book about famous mountains.’ ‘That’s interesting,’ she said. But her face was worried, not interested, and she looked across the road again. A man with very short, white hair walked across the road. He was about sixty years old, and he was tall and thin. The girl watched him. ‘Are you waiting for someone?’ asked Nick. ‘No,’ she said quickly. Then she asked, ‘Where are you going next, Nick?’ ‘To Vancouver, for three or four days,’ he said. ‘When are you going?’ she asked. ‘Later this morning,’ he said. There was a letter in the top of the girl’s half-open bag. Nick could see some of the writing, and he read it because he saw the word ‘Vancouver’ – .

. . and we can meet at the Empress Hotel, Victoria, Vancouver Island, on Friday afternoon . . . ‘So she’s going to Vancouver too,’ he thought. Suddenly the girl said, ‘Do you like movies?’ ‘Movies? Yes, I love movies,’ he said. ‘Why?’ ‘I know a man, and he – he loves movies, and going to the cinema,’ she said slowly. ‘People call him “Mr Hollywood”.’ She smiled at Nick. ‘Can I call you “Mr Hollywood” too?’ Nick laughed. ‘OK,’ he said. ‘And what can I call you?’ She smiled again. ‘Call me Mystery Girl,’ she said. ‘That’s a good name for you,’ said Nick.

Just then, the man with white hair came into the cafe. He did not look at Nick or the girl, but he sat at a table near them. He asked the waiter for some breakfast, then he began to read a magazine. The girl looked at the man, then quickly looked away again. ‘Do you know him?’ Nick asked her. ‘No,’ she said. She finished her coffee quickly and got up. ‘I must go now,’ she said. Nick stood up, too. ‘Nice to-‘ he began. But the girl suddenly took his face between her hands, and kissed him on the mouth. ‘Drive carefully, Mr Hollywood. Goodbye,’ she said, with a big, beautiful smile. Then she turned and walked quickly away. Nick sat down again and watched her. She walked down the road and into a big hotel. ‘Now what,’ thought Nick, ‘was that all about?’ The man with white hair watched Nick and waited. After four or five minutes, Nick finished his coffee, took his books and his camera, and left the cafe.

His car was just outside the girl’s hotel, and he walked slowly along the street to it. The man with white hair waited a second, then quickly followed Nick. From a window high up in the hotel, the girl looked down into the road. She saw Nick, and the man with white hair about fifty yards behind him. Nick got into his car, and the man with white hair walked quickly to a red car across the street. Five seconds later Nick drove away in his blue car, and the red car began to follow him. When the girl saw this, she smiled, then went to put some things in her travel bag. CHAPTER TWO; A hand in the back That evening, in his hotel room in Vancouver, Nick could not stop thinking about the girl in the Whistler cafe.

Why did she come and sit with him? She didn’t know him, and that story about a party in Toronto wasn’t true. And she was worried about something. But what? And that kiss! It was nice, of course, but why did she do it? ‘Maybe she liked my face,’ Nick thought. ‘Or my brown eyes. But I’m not going to see her again, so it doesn’t matter. Forget it.’ He put some money in his pocket and went downstairs to the hotel restaurant. But there were no free tables, so he walked down to Gastown and found a restaurant there. After dinner, he went for a walk. Vancouver was a friendly city, and Nick liked walking through Gastown and Chinatown, looking in the shops and watching the people. It was nearly dark now, and it was a busy time of the evening. There were a lot of cars, and a lot of people.

After a time, Nick began to walk back to his hotel. He came to a busy street, and waited, with a small crowd of people, to go across. A tall woman in a blue dress stood next to him. She turned and smiled at him. ‘It’s the first warm evening of spring,’ she said. ‘It’s nice to be out, after the long cold winter.’ ‘Yeah,’ said Nick. ‘It’s great. It’s-‘ Suddenly, there was a hand in his back – and the hand pushed Nick into the road. Nick fell on his face, in front of a big green car. People screamed. But the green car stopped, only inches from Nick’s head. The woman in the blue dress ran into the road and pulled Nick to his feet. ‘Are you OK? What happened?’ she said. The driver of the green car shouted angrily at Nick, but Nick did not hear him.

‘Somebody pushed me,’ he said to the woman. ‘I didn’t fall – somebody pushed me!’ ‘Pushed you?’ said the woman. ‘Who? I didn’t see anybody.’ Nick looked at the faces of the people near him, but he didn’t know them. Then he saw a man’s back. The man was tall and thin, and had very short white hair. He walked quickly away down the street, and did not look back. ‘Hey, you!’ Nick shouted. ‘Wait!’ But the man did not stop, and he was soon lost in the crowds.

‘Did he push you?’ asked the woman in the blue dress. ‘I … I don’t know,’ Nick said. ‘Do you know him?’ she asked. ‘I don’t know his name,’ Nick said. ‘But I know that short white hair. Now where did I see it before?’ The woman began to move away. ‘I must get home,’ she said. ‘Are you OK now?’ ‘Yeah, I’m OK,’ Nick said. ‘And thanks. Thanks for your help.’ ‘That’s OK.’ The woman smiled. ‘Be careful now!’ Back in his hotel, Nick sat on his bed and thought. ‘It was an accident. Nobody pushed me, it was an accident. Nobody wants to kill me. And there are hundreds of men in Vancouver with white hair.’ It was one o’clock in the morning, but Nick couldn’t sleep. He listened to the cars in the road, and he looked at the night sky through his hotel room window.

Then he sat at the table and tried to write some more of his book about mountains, but he couldn’t think about his work. He got back into bed. There were four or five magazines in the hotel room. They were not very interesting, but Nick sat in bed and opened one . . . and saw a photo of Mystery Girl’! He looked at the picture very carefully. But, yes, it was her! Jan, the girl from the Whistler cafe. She was next to a man of about fifty or fifty-five, and they were in the garden of a big, expensive house.

They smiled at the camera, and they looked very happy. Canadian millionaire, Howard Hutson, and his daughter, Meg, it said under the picture, at their home in Toronto. Meg Hutson! Not Jan. Not Mystery Girl. Meg Hutson, the daughter of a millionaire! Nick read it again. ‘Why did she come and sit with me in the cafe at Whistler?’ he thought. ‘Millionaires’ daughters don’t sit with strangers in cafes, and then give them a big kiss when they leave! Why did she do it? What did she want?’ He thought back to the cafe in Whistler, and the girl next to him at the table. Then he remembered something.

He remembered a man at a table near them in the cafe. A tall thin man, about sixty years old. A man with very short white hair. Nick didn’t sleep much that night. CHAPTER THREE; A walk in the park The next day was Thursday. Nick stayed in his hotel room and wrote about mountains all morning. Then he drove to Stanley Park in the afternoon. He sat and read a book for an hour, then he went for a walk under the tall trees.

There was nobody here. It was quiet, and he could walk and think. He thought about Meg Hutson, and about the man with white hair. Did he know Meg Hutson? Did she know him? He remembered Meg Hutson’s last words. Drive carefully, Mr Hollywood. Why did she say that? Why did she call him Mr Hollywood? He didn’t understand any of it. Suddenly, he heard a noise. He stopped. ‘That was a gun!’ he thought. ‘There’s somebody in the trees with a gun! There it is again!’ Then something hit the tree over his head.

‘Somebody’s shooting at me!’ Nick thought. He turned and ran. And somebody began to run after him. Nick ran through the trees. There was no sun in here, and it was half-dark. And there were no people. Nobody to help him. ‘I must get to my car,’ Nick thought. ‘Find some people. . . the police. . .’ He ran on. He could still hear the gunman behind him, so he ran faster.

After three or four minutes, he stopped and listened. Nothing. It was all quiet. Nick was afraid. ‘What’s happening?’ he thought. ‘Why is somebody shooting at me? First a hand pushes me in front of a car, and now somebody’s shooting at me!’ He waited another second or two, then walked quickly back to his car. He was very careful. He looked and listened all the time. But nobody came out of the trees, and nobody shot at him. Then he saw people – women with young children, some boys with a football, two men with a dog. He began to feel better. ‘Nobody can shoot me now,’ he thought. ‘Not with all these people here.’ Ten minutes later, he was back at his car.

There was a letter on the window. Nick read it. It said; I’m going to kill you, Mr Hollywood. Nick drove to the nearest police station. He waited for half an hour, then a tired young policeman took him into a small room. Nick told his story, and the policeman wrote it all down. ‘So what are you going to do?’ asked Nick. ‘Nothing,’ said the policeman. ‘Nothing!’ said Nick. ‘But somebody shot at me, and-‘ ‘Mr Lortz,’ the policeman said tiredly.

‘How many people are there in this town with guns?’ ‘I don’t know,’ said Nick. ‘But . . .’ ‘You didn’t see the gunman. Was it a man, a boy, a woman? Colour of eyes? Long hair, short hair? You don’t know, because you didn’t see anybody. Maybe it was an old girlfriend. Maybe somebody doesn’t like your travel books, Mr Lortz.’ ‘But what about the man with white hair in Whistler?’ said Nick. ‘The girl, Meg Hutson, called me Mr Hollywood in the cafe, and this man heard her. And now I get a letter to Mr Hollywood on my car.

Who is this Mr Hollywood?’ ‘We all want answers to our questions, Mr Lortz,’ the policeman said, ‘but we don’t always get them.’ Questions. But no answers. Nick walked out of the police station and drove to his hotel. He was angry, and afraid. ‘How did the man with white hair find me in Vancouver?’ he thought. ‘Did he follow me from Whistler? Is he following me now? Maybe he’s staying at my hotel, too.

In the next room. With his gun.’ CHAPTER FOUR; The man with white hair Nick stopped his car in front of the hotel. He looked carefully before he got out, but there was nobody with white hair near the hotel. He half-ran through the hotel doors and went to the desk inside. ‘I’m looking for a man with very short white hair,’ he said to the woman behind the desk. ‘He’s staying here, I think. He’s about sixty years old, and he’s tall and thin.’ The woman did not look very interested. ‘There are a lot of visitors in the hotel,’ she said. ‘Do you know his name?’ ‘No, I don’t,’ Nick said. ‘He’s, er, a friend of a friend, you see. He arrived in Vancouver yesterday, and I must find him. It’s very important. Please help me!’ The woman looked at him.

‘There are three hundred and fifty rooms in this hotel,’ she said, ‘and maybe thirty or forty men with white hair. How can I remember all their names?’ She turned away to answer a telephone call. Nick walked away from the desk. ‘A drink,’ he thought. ‘I need a drink.’ He went into the hotel bar, got a drink and sat down at a table. ‘So what do I do now?’ he thought. And then he remembered something. A letter in the girl’s half-open bag in the Whistler cafe. . . . and we can meet at the Empress Hotel, Victoria, Vancouver Island, on Friday afternoon . . . And tomorrow was Friday. ‘I’m going to Victoria, on Vancouver Island!’ he thought. ‘To the Empress Hotel!’ And tomorrow was Friday. ‘I’m going to Victoria, on Vancouver Island!’ he thought. ‘To the Empress Hotel!’ Nick had dinner in the hotel that evening. He finished eating and got up from his table . . . and saw the man with white hair. Nick moved quickly. The man was at the hotel desk. Nick could see the white head above the other heads near the desk.

‘Excuse me!’ said Nick. He pushed past the people in the hotel restaurant. A small boy ran in front of him and Nick ran into him. The boy and Nick fell down on the floor. The boy began to cry. ‘Hey!’ said a woman behind Nick. ‘I’m very sorry!’ said Nick. He got up and helped the boy to his feet.

‘Are you OK?’ he asked the boy. ‘Be more careful next time,’ said the woman. Nick moved away quickly, but when he looked back at the hotel desk, he couldn’t see the man with white hair. He pushed through the crowd of people. ‘That man!’ he shouted at the woman behind the desk. ‘That man with short white hair. Where did he go?’ The woman looked at Nick. ‘Mr Vickers?’ she said. ‘I don’t know.’ ‘Vickers? Is that his name?’ said Nick. ‘What’s his room number?’ ‘I’m sorry, I can’t tell you that,’ the woman said. ‘But I need to-‘ began Nick. The woman turned away to answer the telephone. After a second or two, Nick went upstairs to his room. ‘Vickers,’ he thought. ‘Does Meg Hutson know Mr Vickers? I need some answers, and I need them quickly!’ CHAPTER FIVE; Vancouver Island Tsawwassen was about twenty-three miles south of Vancouver. Nick drove there in his car the next morning for the one o’clock ferry to Vancouver Island.

Every five minutes, he looked behind him. The road was busy – black cars, white cars, red cars, green cars. Maybe Vickers was in one of them. At Tsawwassen Nick drove his car on to the ferry. There were a lot of cars and crowds of people. Nick got out of his car and walked up and down the ship. He looked for a man with white hair but he didn’t see one.

Soon the ferry began to move and Nick felt better. He found the ferry restaurant and got something to eat. More people came in. Nick looked at the faces of all the older men. Some had hats on, so he looked for somebody tall and thin, but there was nobody. ‘Maybe he’s not on the ferry,’ Nick thought. ‘Maybe he’s back in Vancouver.’ Later, Nick walked around the ship again.

Once, he thought he saw the man with white hair in the crowds, but he could not be sure. Ninety minutes after leaving Tsawwassen, the ferry arrived at Swartz Bay on Vancouver Island, and Nick went back down to his car. Swartz Bay was twenty miles north of Victoria. Nick drove quickly, and again, looked behind him every four or five minutes. Once, he saw a red car about two hundred yards behind him. ‘Did I see that car on the road from Vancouver to Tsawwassen?’ he thought. He drove more slowly, but the red car still stayed two hundred yards behind him, and Nick couldn’t see the driver’s face or hair. Soon he was in the busy streets of Victoria, and Nick didn’t see the red car behind him again. Victoria was a city of gardens and beautiful old buildings.

Nick liked Victoria very much, but today he wasn’t interested in gardens or buildings. He found the Empress Hotel, went inside and walked across to the desk. ‘Can I help you?’ a young man asked Nick. ‘I’m meeting a friend here this afternoon,’ said Nick. ‘Miss Hutson.’ ‘Hutson?’ said the young man. ‘Wait a minute.’ He went away and came back. ‘Sorry, but there’s no Miss Hutson staying here.’ Nick took something from his pocket. It was the photograph of Meg and her father, from the magazine. ‘This is her,’ he said. The young man looked at the picture. ‘Oh, right. You mean Howard Hutson’s daughter,’ he said. ‘She’s not staying here, but I saw her ten or fifteen minutes ago. She was with somebody – a man. He asked me about the tea room.’ ‘The tea room?’ said Nick. ‘Where’s that?’ The man with short white hair was tired.

He couldn’t sleep and he couldn’t eat. He thought about only one thing, all the time. He drove and he watched, and he waited and he followed. When he drove into Victoria, the streets were busy, and suddenly he lost the blue car in front of him. Angrily, he drove around the city, past all the big hotels. ‘I must find him,’ he said. ‘I must do it. Today.’ Then he saw the Empress Hotel, and in the street outside it, a blue car. He drove past the hotel, left his car, and ran back down the street. He went across the road and walked past the downstairs windows. There was a big room with tables and chairs, and a lot of people. He looked carefully at all the faces. ‘There she is!’ he said suddenly. There were two men with the girl. He couldn’t see their faces, only the backs of their heads, but one of the men was in a green shirt. ‘Mr Hollywood,’ the man said, and smiled. ‘Goodbye, Mr Hollywood.’ People in the street turned to look at him, but the man did not see them.

He walked up to the doors of the hotel and put a hand into his pocket. Inside, the gun was cold and hard. CHAPTER SIX; A tea party Nick looked through the doors of the tea room in the Empress Hotel. Meg Hutson sat at a table with a man. The man was about thirty, or maybe a year or two younger. He was tall, and brown from the sun. He wore a white shirt, white trousers, and white shoes. He said something to Meg, and she laughed. She looked very happy. A waiter came up to Nick. ‘Can I get you some tea?’ he asked. ‘No, thanks,’ said Nick. ‘I’m with the two people over there.’ And he walked across to Meg’s table. ‘Hello, Mystery Girl,’ said Nick.

‘Remember me? We met at Whistler. Your name was Jan then. But maybe today it’s Meg Hutson.’ Meg Hutson looked up at him. ‘Oh,’ she said, and her face went red. ‘Who is this, Meg?’ asked the man. ‘This is Nick,’ said Meg. ‘He’s a writer. Nick, this is Craig Winters.’ ‘Sometimes called Mr Hollywood?’ said Nick. ‘Maybe. But how did you know that?’ asked Craig Winters. ‘I guessed,’ said Nick. ‘And I think I’m beginning to understand. Can I ask you a question, Mr Winters? Does somebody want to kill you?’ Craig Winters’ face went white. ‘Kill me?’ ‘What are you talking about?’ asked Meg. ‘Before I tell you, answer this question, please,’ said Nick.

‘You called me Mr Hollywood in Whistler. And you wanted the man at the next table, the man with white hair, to hear you. Is that right?’ Meg Hutson did not answer at first. Then she said quietly, ‘Yes.’ ‘Why?’ asked Nick. ‘I wanted him to follow you, and not me.’ ‘Why?’ Nick asked again. ‘I think he’s a detective,’ said Meg. ‘And I think he’s working for my father. I saw him soon after I left Toronto. He followed me.’ Meg put her hand on Craig Winters’ arm. ‘My father doesn’t like Craig. A month ago, he told me not to see Craig again. I’m not happy, and he knows that. I think he guessed that I’m meeting Craig. And now he wants to find Craig and stop him seeing me.’ ‘Stop him?’ said Nick. ‘Or kill him?’ ‘No!’ Meg Hutson said.

‘Daddy doesn’t-‘ ‘The man with white hair pushed me in front of a car in Vancouver,’ Nick told her. ‘And he shot at me in Stanley Park.’ ‘What!’ said Meg. ‘Tell – tell me about this man with white hair,’ Winters said suddenly. Nick looked at him. ‘He’s about sixty, and he’s tall and thin,’ he said. ‘Do you know his name?’ asked Winters. ‘Vickers,’ said Nick. Craig Winters suddenly looked ill. ‘Did he – did he follow you to Victoria? Did he follow you here?’ ‘I don’t know,’ said Nick. He watched Winters. ‘You’re afraid of him. Why? Why does this man Vickers want to kill you, Winters?’ Before Craig Winters could answer, Meg’s face went white. ‘Oh, no!’ she said. ‘Look! Look over there, by the door!’ Nick and Craig Winters turned to look. At the door of the tea room stood the man with white hair. He looked up and down the room, and then he saw them, and began to walk across to their table.

His hand was in his pocket. For a second or two the three people at the table did not move. Then Craig Winters jumped to his feet. ‘That’s Mr Hollywood!’ he screamed. ‘That man there!’ And he pointed at Nick. The man’s hand came out of his pocket – with a gun. ‘This is for Anna!’ he shouted. Nick moved very fast. The tea table went over, and Nick was down on the floor in a second. The shot went over his head, and Meg screamed. At the same time Craig Winters shouted out and put a hand on his arm.

There was blood on his white shirt. Then more people began to scream, and two waiters pulled the man with white hair down on to the floor. ‘Get the police!’ somebody shouted. CHAPTER SEVEN; At the police station It was p.m. Nick and Meg were in a room at the police station. The man called Vickers was in a different room, with three detectives. There was a doctor with him too. Craig Winters was at the hospital. The door opened and a detective came in with two cups of coffee. He put them down on the table, and turned to go out again. ‘Detective Edmonds,’ Meg said, ‘did the hospital call? Is Craig going to be all right?’ ‘Winters?’ Detective Edmonds said. ‘Yes, he’s going to be OK.’ ‘Can I call the hospital now?’ asked Meg.

‘I’d like you to wait,’ said Edmonds. ‘Detective Keat is going to be here in a minute. He’s just coming from the airport and-‘ He looked through the open door. ‘Ah, here he is now.’ A second detective came into the room, and behind him was a tall man with dark hair. Meg stood up quickly. ‘Daddy!’ she cried. ‘What are you doing here?’ ‘The police called me,’ said Howard Hutson, ‘and I flew here at once.

Detective Keat met me at the airport. Now, sit down, Meg. I want you to listen to me.’ He did not look at Nick. Meg sat down and her father took her hands. ‘Meg, last week Johnnie Vickers came to my house. He wanted to talk about his daughter. You remember Anna, Meg? Three months ago she jumped off a bridge in Boston and died. She was young, beautiful, rich – and she didn’t want to live.

Why? Because she loved a man, and the man took her money, ran away and left her. And the man was called-‘ ‘No!’ said Meg. ‘NO!’ ‘Yes, Meg, yes. He was called Mr Hollywood.’ ‘No!’ shouted Meg. She began to cry. ‘That’s right, Miss Hutson,’ said detective Keat quietly. ‘To you, he gave the name Craig Winters. When Anna Vickers knew him, he was Carl Windser. But he liked all his . . . er . . . girlfriends to call him Mr Hollywood.

He took nearly 50,000 dollars from Anna Vickers. And there was a girl before that. . .’ ‘No, it’s not true!’ Meg shouted. ‘It is true, Meg,’ said her father. ‘Winters – Windser – gets all his money from rich men’s daughters. Johnnie Vickers loved his daughter. He went to her house in Boston after she died. He read her letters, and learned about the money and the name Mr Hollywood. And when he came to my house, I told him about you, Meg. I said, “My daughter’s got a new boyfriend, and she calls him Mr Hollywood. I don’t like him, but I can’t stop her. She’s going away to meet him next week, I think. What can I do?” Johnnie put his hand on my arm, and he said, “Don’t be afraid for your daughter. I’m going to find that man – and stop him!'” Meg said nothing. Her face was very white. For a minute or two nobody spoke, then detective Edmonds said ‘Vickers told us all about it, Miss Hutson.

He followed you to Whistler, and saw you with-‘ Nick began to understand. ‘With me, in the cafe! And Meg called me Mr Hollywood!’ Howard Hutson looked at Nick. ‘You’re the travel writer guy, right?’ ‘Lortz. Nick Lortz,’ said Nick. ‘Vickers nearly killed me. He shot at me twice, and-‘ But Howard Hutson was not very interested in Nick. He looked at his daughter again. ‘How much money did you give him, Meg?’ he said. ‘I -I gave him 25,000 dollars,’ said Meg. ‘Only for two or three months, he said. Then he . . .’ She began to cry again. ‘Well, you can say goodbye to that money,’ said Hutson angrily. ‘What’s going to happen to Vickers?’ Nick asked detective Edmonds. ‘Hospital, I think,’ said Edmonds. ‘OK, he shot at you and about fifty people saw him. But he’s not a well man. The doctors are going to put him away in a hospital.’ Howard Hutson stood up. ‘OK, Meg, I’m going to take you home.

My plane is waiting at the airport.’ Meg followed her father to the door, then she remembered Nick and turned. ‘I’m sorry,’ she said. ‘I got you into all this. I called you Mr Hollywood. That was wrong. But I didn’t know-‘ ‘It’s OK,’ said Nick. ‘You know everything now. And it’s better to learn it now, and not later. 50,000 dollars later.’ CHAPTER EIGHT; A nice smile Nick took the evening ferry back to Vancouver. He was tired and hungry, so he went down to get some dinner in the ferry restaurant. The restaurant was busy and there was only one free table. Nick sat down quickly and began to eat.

‘I must get back to work tomorrow,’ he thought, ‘and forget about millionaires’ daughters and men with guns.’ ‘Excuse me,’ somebody said. ‘Can I sit with you?’ Nick looked up. There was a pretty girl next to his table. He got up. ‘It – it’s OK,’ he said. ‘You can have this table. I don’t want it.’ And he began to move away. ‘Please don’t go,’ the girl said. ‘Stay and finish your dinner.’ She smiled at him. It was a nice smile. But Nick knew all about nice smiles. ‘I’m not hungry,’ he said. And he walked quickly out of the restaurant..

As found on Youtube

Learn English through story Beauty and the Beast (level 1)

A rich man lives in a big city near the sea. He has got three daughters and three sons. One daughter is called ‘Beauty’ because she is very beautiful. The other two daughters are called Rosalind and Hortensia. They are lazy and unfriendly. They like going out and having fun. They both want to find a rich husband. They do not like Beauty because she is beautiful. Beauty has got long red hair. She is kind and friendly. She likes staying at home and reading books. She also likes playing the piano. Beauty’s father is a merchant. One day he loses all his money because his ship is lost at sea. ‘My dear children,’ he says sadly, ‘I haven’t got much money. We’re poor. We must leave this big house and go and live in the country.’ ‘Oh, dear!’ say the two sisters. ‘We’re poor – this is terrible!’ ‘What bad luck!’ say the three brothers.

‘We have to work now,’ says Beauty’s father. ‘Work?’ say the two sisters. ‘No, we don’t want to work! And we don’t want to live in the country.’ They start to cry. Beauty is sad but she says, ‘Let’s not cry! We can work and be happy without money.’ The family goes to the country and lives in a small house. Beauty gets up at four o’clock every morning to clean the house and cook. Then she washes the family’s clothes in the river. The three brothers work in the country. Rosalind and Hortensia do not work. They do nothing all day. They sleep all morning and walk in the woods in the afternoon. ‘I’m unhappy,’ says Rosalind. ‘I don’t like the country because there’s nothing to do.’ ‘We can’t go to the theatre and wear nice clothes,’ says Hortensia. ‘And we haven’t got any friends.’ ‘Look at Beauty,’ says Rosalind angrily.

‘She works and she’s happy in this terrible place.’ Beauty’s father says, ‘Dear Beauty, you work a lot and you’re always happy. You’re a wonderful daughter.’ A year later Beauty’s father gets an important letter. He calls his six children and says, ‘Listen to this letter:’ You ship is here. It is not lost at sea! Please come to the port. Everyone is happy. ‘This is wonderful news!’ say the three sons. ‘Yes,’ says their father, ‘the ship with my goods is in the port.’ ‘We’re rich again!’ says Rosalind. ‘We can buy beautiful clothes.’ ‘We can go back to our big house in the city,’ says Hortensia. ‘I must go to the port today,’ says her father happily. ‘Oh, father,’ says Hortensia, ‘bring me some new clothes and new hats.’ ‘Yes,’ says Rosalind, ‘and some new shoes and jewels.’ Beauty’s father looks at her and says, ‘What do you want, Beauty?’ ‘Please don’t spend your money, father,’ says Beauty.

‘Just bring me a rose.’ Beauty’s father gets to the port and finds his ship. But there are no goods on it – it is empty! ‘What bad luck!’ he says angrily. ‘I must go home and tell the children the bad news.’ On the way home he crosses a big forest. It is snowing and windy. He is lost. ‘Where am I?’ he thinks. ‘Where can I go? I’m very cold and tired.’ He hears some wolves and he is afraid. Suddenly he sees a big castle in the forest. And there are lights in the windows. ‘Oh, good!’ he thinks. ‘Perhaps the people in the castle can help me.’ He takes his horse to the stable near the castle.

He knocks on the big door of the castle but no one answers. He waits outside the door. Then he opens the door and goes inside. He sees a big hall with a fireplace. There is a long table with a lot of food on it. He is cold and sits near the fireplace. ‘How strange,’ he thinks, ‘there’s no one here.’ He is hungry and sits down at the table and starts to eat. Then he is sleepy. He finds a warm, comfortable bed and falls asleep. The next morning he finds some new clothes near his bed.

‘How nice! New clothes!’ he thinks. ‘A kind person lives in this castle.’ He looks out of the window and is surprised. ‘It’s not snowing and it’s a beautiful day!’ he thinks. ‘And there are flowers in the garden.’ He gets dressed and goes to the hall. There are biscuits, chocolate and milk on the long table. He sits down and says, ‘Thank you for this lovely breakfast.’ He looks round but sees no one. He eats and decides to go home. He goes to the stable and gets his horse.

In the garden he sees some roses. ‘Beauty wants a rose,’ he thinks. He takes a lovely one. Suddenly he hears a terrible noise. He turns round and sees an ugly monster. CHAPTER THREE – The Beast ‘You’re a bad man!’ cries the Beast angrily. ‘You come to my castle and I save your life. You eat here and you sleep here. And then you take one of my beautiful roses. For this you must die!’ Beauty’s father starts to cry. Oh, sir, I’m sorry! You’re very kind. Please don’t be angry with me. This rose is for one of my daughters.’ ‘My name is not “sir” – it is Beast. Please call me by my name. You talk about your daughters. Then one of your daughters must die in your place.’ ‘Oh, no!’ says Beauty’s father. ‘They’re young and they don’t want to die.’ ‘Then you must come back here and die,’ says the Beast. ‘I can wait three months. Do you agree to come back?’ Beauty’s father agrees to come back. ‘My daughters must not die,’ he thinks. ‘I want to go home and see my children for the last time.’ Before Beauty’s father leaves the castle the Beast talks to him.

‘I’m not had,’ says the Beast. ‘Go back to your bedroom. There is a big chest there. Fill it with everything you want and it is yours.’ Beauty’s father fills the chest with a lot of gold. Then he gets on his horse and goes home. When he is at home he gives the rose to Beauty. ‘Take this rose, Beauty,’ he says sadly. ‘Let me tell you about my terrible adventure.’ He tells his children about the empty ship in the port, the castle in the forest and the Beast.

Rosalind and Hortensia are angry with Beauty. They say, ‘Father must die because you like roses, Beauty!’ ‘No,’ says Beauty, ‘father is not going to die. I’m going to the Beast’s castle!’ ‘No, dear sister,’ say her three brothers. ‘We’re going to his castle and we’re going to kill him!’ ‘No, that’s not possible,’ says their father. ‘The Beast is very big and strong. I’m old – I must go and die. But Beauty does not agree. She decides to go to the Beast’s castle.

‘No, father,’ she says, ‘you must not go. I want to go!’ ‘Never, my dear Beauty!’ says her father. ‘I’m not afraid,’ says Beauty. ‘You must live and look after my brothers and sisters. They need you.’ Beauty’s father thinks for a moment. Then he says sadly, ‘Alright, Beauty. You can go.’ Beauty’s brothers are very sad, but Hortensia and Rosalind are not. The next morning Beauty and her father go to the Beast’s castle. Inside the castle they see a long table with a lot of good food on it. Beauty and her father are not hungry, but they sit down and eat. Suddenly they hear a loud noise. ‘What’s that terrible noise?’ asks Beauty. ‘The Beast is coming,’ says her father. Beauty sees the Beast’s ugly face and she is terrified ‘Oh, this Beast is really terrible!’ she thinks. The Beast looks at her and says, ‘You’re a brave girl.’ ‘I’m very sorry about the rose from your garden…,’ says Beauty quietly. The Beast looks at Beauty’s father and says, ‘You must go away tomorrow. And don’t come back! Do you understand?’ Beauty’s father looks at the Beast and then at his daughter.

‘Oh, Beauty,’ he says, ‘please go home! Let me stay here!’ ‘No, father,’ says Beauty. ‘We must be brave. We’re both tired – let’s go and sleep now. Tomorrow morning you can go home to my brothers and sisters.’ That night Beauty has a dream. In her dream a good fairy says, ‘You’re a good girl, Beauty. And you’ve got a kind heart. You want to save your father’s life. You’re going to be very happy one day.’ CHAPTER FOUR – Life at the Castle The next morning Beauty’s father leaves the castle. He is crying. ‘Don’t cry, father,’ says Beauty. ‘Remember, I love you.’ ‘Goodbye, dear Beauty,’ says her father. Beauty is terrified. ‘The Beast is going to eat me tonight,’ she thinks. ‘I want to enjoy my last day. I’m going to visit the garden of the castle.’ She goes to see the big garden and she is surprised. It is a beautiful garden with a lot of lovely flowers. Then she goes to see the big castle. She looks in all the rooms.

On one door she sees this sign: BEAUTY’S ROOM She opens the door and sees a lovely room. There is a nice bed and a mirror on the wall. Beauty looks round and thinks, ‘There’s a piano and a lot of books for me. How strange! Perhaps the Beast doesn’t want to eat me tonight.’ She takes a book and starts to read it. Suddenly she sees these words on the pages: Welcome, Beauty! You’re the queen here. Tell me everything you want. ‘I only want to see my poor father,’ says Beauty. Suddenly she sees her father in the mirror on the wall. He is very sad. She also sees her home and Hortensia and Rosalind. They are happy without Beauty. ‘The Beast is kind to me,’ she thinks. ‘Why am I afraid of him?’ At 12 o’clock she has lunch. After lunch she goes to her room. ‘What a beautiful piano!’ thinks Beauty. ‘I want to play it.’ She plays some wonderful music on the piano. Then she looks at all the books in her room. Some of them have got pictures and others have not.

She takes a book about flowers and looks at the pictures of different flowers. Then she sees pictures of roses of all colours. ‘Now I want to go to the garden and look at the lovely roses,’ she thinks. She goes to the garden and stays there all afternoon. She looks at the flowers and feels happy. At dinner time she sits down at the long table and then she hears the Beast coming. She is terrified. ‘Beauty, can I sit here with you?’ asks the Beast. ‘You’re the lord of the castle,’ says Beauty. ‘And you’re the queen,’ says the Beast. ‘Can I ask you a question?’ ‘Yes, of course,’ says Beauty quietly.

‘Am I very ugly?’ asks the Beast. Beauty does not know what to say. She looks at him and thinks for a moment. ‘Well, yes you are!’ says Beauty. ‘But you’re kind and polite.’ The Beast looks at Beauty and smiles. ‘You’re right, I’m terribly ugly but I’m kind. This is your home now, Beauty. Please don’t be sad!’ ‘Some men are handsome but they’re not kind,’ says Beauty. ‘I prefer you because you’ve got a good heart. ‘Thank you, Beauty,’ says the Beast. Now Beauty is not afraid of the Beast and she eats a big dinner. The Beast looks at her and asks a question. Do you want to marry me, Beauty?’ What a question! Beauty is terrified. ‘What can I say?’ thinks Beauty. She is silent for a moment and then she says, ‘No, I’m sorry I don’t want to marry you.’ The Beast is angry and Beauty is afraid.

Then he goes out of the room and says, ‘Goodbye, Beauty.’ CHAPTER FIVE – The Magic Ring Beauty spends three months at the beautiful castle. Every day she reads books and plays the piano. She walks everywhere in the big garden. She likes the tall trees and the flowers of different colours. She puts beautiful flowers in the rooms of the castle. Sometimes she makes perfume from the flowers. But the days are long and she is often lonely. Beauty often thinks about her father, her sisters and her brothers. ‘I want to see my father again,’ she thinks sadly. ‘And I want to see my home again too.’ The Beast goes to see her every evening at dinner time, at nine o’clock. They talk about interesting things and are happy together. Beauty is not afraid of his ugly face now. Every evening the Beast asks Beauty the same question: ‘Beauty, do you want to marry me?’ And every evening Beauty answers, ‘No.’ One day Beauty says, ‘Why do you ask me the same question every evening?’ ‘Because I hope to hear a different answer,’ says the Beast.

‘I’m sorry, I don’t want to marry you,’ says Beauty. The Beast is very sad. ‘But I’m always going to be your friend,’ she says. ‘You’re a wonderful friend,’ says the Beast. ‘And you are too,’ says Beauty smiling. ‘I know I’m terribly ugly,’ says the Beast. ‘But I love you a lot. I’m very happy with you. Please, don’t leave me!’ Beauty’s face becomes red and she is quiet for a moment. ‘In the mirror of my room,’ says Beauty, ‘I see my poor father.

He’s sad and lonely. He thinks I’m dead. My sisters are married and my brothers are away. I want to see my father for the last time. Can I go and see him, please?’ ‘Yes, you can go and see your father,’ says the Beast. ‘But I’m going to be very sad without you.’ ‘Oh, thank you!’ says Beauty happily. ‘Please don’t be sad, Beast. I’m going to come back in a week.’ ‘Alright,’ says the Beast. ‘You can visit your father tomorrow morning. But remember, you must come back in a week. Before you come back put this ring on a table near your bed.

It’s a magic ring. Goodbye, Beauty.’ CHAPTER SIX – The Sisters’ Plan The next morning Beauty wakes up in her bedroom in her father’s house. She gets up and goes downstairs. When her father sees her he cries, ‘Beauty, is that you? How wonderful! My daughter is well and she’s here!’ Beauty is very happy and hugs her father. ‘Get dressed quickly and then tell me about the Beast!’ says her father happily. She goes to her room and finds a chest full of beautiful clothes.

‘This is a present from the Beast!’ says Beauty to her father. He’s very nice and gives me presents every day.’ She chooses some lovely clothes. ‘I want to give these lovely clothes to Rosalind and Hortensia,’ she says. When she says this the chest disappears! ‘The Beast is watching you,’ says Beauty’s father. ‘These beautiful clothes are for you and not for your sisters.’ Suddenly the chest comes back again. That morning Rosalind and Hortensia come to visit their sister. They are both very unhappy. ‘Oh, Beauty,’ says Rosalind, ‘I’m unhappy.’ ‘Why are you unhappy, Rosalind?’ asks Beauty. ‘Oh, it’s a long story,’ says Rosalind. ‘Please tell me,’ says Beauty. ‘My husband is handsome and he spends all day in front of a mirror. He never looks at me or talks to me.’ ‘Oh, dear, that’s a big problem,’ says Beauty. Hortensia says, ‘My husband is very clever, but he doesn’t like anyone, and no one likes him.’ ‘I can never invite my friends to lunch or dinner because he doesn’t like them.’ ‘We’ve got a lot of problems with our husbands,’ they say.

‘My poor sisters!’ says Beauty. ‘I’m very sorry.’ ‘Tell us about the Beast,’ says Hortensia. Oh, the Beast is not a bad man,’ says Beauty. ‘He’s very kind. I live in his beautiful castle and I’m the queen. I don’t work. I read, play the piano and walk in the garden. Every evening the Beast comes to see me at dinner and we talk about a lot of things. It’s wonderful.’ The two sisters are very angry and they go to the garden.

‘Beauty wears lovely clothes and shoes,’ says Rosalind. ‘She’s like a queen. She’s very happy. Why is she lucky? And why are we unlucky?’ ‘You’re right, Rosalind,’ says Hortensia. ‘We’re not very lucky. But maybe we can be lucky! Beauty has to return to the Beast in a week, or he’s going to get angry and eat her!’ ‘Then we must keep her here,’ says Rosalind. ‘Then the Beast is going to get angry.’ During the week the two sisters are kind to Beauty.

They talk and laugh with her. They walk together in the country. Beauty is happy with her sisters. ‘Rosalind and Hortensia love me,’ she thinks. ‘They’re good sisters and I love them a lot.’ At the end of the week Beauty says, ‘I must go back to the Beast’s castle.’ But her sisters start to cry. ‘Oh, Beauty,’ says Rosalind, ‘please stay with us another week. We need you.’ ‘Yes, Beauty,’ says Hortensia, ‘please don’t leave us. We have fun with you and we love you.’ ‘Yes,’ says Rosalind, ‘stay with us! We can do a lot of things together.’ Beauty does not know what to do.

She decides to stay another week. CHAPTER SEVEN – The Dream The Beast is going to be very sad without me,’ Beauty thinks. ‘But I want to stay with my family for a few more days. Then I’m going to go back to him.’ Beauty thinks about the Beast. She misses him. Ten days later Beauty dreams about the Beast. In her dream the Beast is on the grass in the garden of the castle. And he’s going to die! ‘Beauty, whispers the Beast, ‘today is the tenth day and you’re not here. I can’t live without you. I can’t eat or drink.’ Beauty wakes up and thinks, ‘The poor Beast is going to die without me! I must go back to him.’ She takes the ring and puts it on a table near her bed. ‘The Beast is ugly but he’s very kind,’ she thinks. ‘Why don’t I marry him? I’m happy with him. My sisters have handsome, clever husbands – but they’re not happy.’ Beauty falls asleep and the next morning she wakes up at the Beast’s castle. Today I’m going to wear a beautiful dress,’ Beauty thinks.

At nine o’clock in the evening she goes to dinner and waits for the Beast. But he doesn’t come to see her. ‘What’s happening?’ Beauty thinks. ‘Where’s the Beast? Why isn’t he here?’ ‘Beast!’ she cries. ‘Beast, where are you! Answer me!’ She opens the doors of all the rooms and looks everywhere in the castle. But she cannot find him. Suddenly she remembers her dream. She runs to the garden and sees the Beast on the grass.

‘Oh, no!’ she cries. ‘Is he dead?’ She listens to his heart and it is beating. ‘Good! He’s not dead!’ she thinks. She gets some cold water from the river and wets his face. The Beast slowly opens his eyes. ‘Beauty,’ he whispers, ‘I’m dying… but I’m happy because you’re here.’ ‘No, Beast,’ cries Beauty. ‘Don’t die! You must live and become my husband. I love you and I can’t live without you.’ CHAPTER EIGHT – The Prince Suddenly all the lights of the castle and the garden, turn on. There are beautiful fireworks in the sky. Beauty is surprised and looks at the castle. Then she turns round and looks at the Beast. What a surprise! She sees a handsome young man.

‘Thank you, Beauty,’ says the young man. ‘The spell is broken!’ ‘But where is the Beast?’ asks Beauty. ‘I am the Beast!’ says the prince. ‘I don’t understand,’ says Beauty. ‘Who are you?’ ‘I’m a prince and this is my castle,’ says the young man. ‘Sometimes a bad witch puts a spell on a prince and only true love can break the spell. Now I know your love is true.’ The prince takes her hand and says, ‘Do you want to marry me, Beauty?’ Beauty looks at the handsome prince and says, ‘Yes, I do!’ Beauty and the prince go to the castle.

When she opens the door she is surprised. ‘My family! You’re all here!’ cries Beauty. She is happy when she sees her family. They talk and laugh together. Suddenly she sees the good fairy from her dream. ‘Beauty,’ says the good fairy, ‘you’ve got a kind heart and you’re going to marry the prince and become a princess!’ Then the good fairy looks at Beauty’s two sisters. ‘You’re both bad, lazy and unkind,’ says the fairy. ‘You don’t love anyone!’ The fairy says some magic words and suddenly Rosalind and Hortensia become statues. ‘Oh, no!’ cries Beauty. ‘My sisters are statues!’ ‘Your sisters have got hearts of stone,’ says the fairy.

‘Now they can’t move, but they can see and hear everything. When they understand their mistakes they can become Rosalind and Hortensia again.’ The next day Beauty and the prince get married. Everyone dances and sings in the castle. It is a happy day. People give flowers to Beauty and the prince. The prince sees tears in Beauty’s eyes and says, ‘Don’t cry, my Beauty. We’re going to be very happy together!’.