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متن انگلیسی فصل
A boy and a girl
Saint Valentine’s Day, 1675, was the day that changed my life forever, though I did not know it then.
I was fourteen. My mother had been ill and was not eating very well, so I went out to find something that she liked - good, fresh fish, caught from clear water.
I went first along the Lynn River that runs through our valley, then I turned into Bag worthy Water. Though I knew that this river led to Doone valley, I did not think about it. I went on catching fish and moving up the river, then suddenly found myself standing at the bottom of the cliffs outside Doone valley.
In front of me was a waterfall, a steep hill of smooth, fast-moving water. It was a wild, lonely place, surrounded by tall trees, and it was already getting late. I knew I should turn for home - but I also wanted very much to see what was at the top of that waterfall. It looked a dangerous climb, but if I did not climb it, I would always remember that I was too frightened to do it.
So I climbed.
The water beat against my legs, once knocking me down so that I nearly drowned, but I pulled myself up and went on. When I reached the top at last, my arms and legs were aching and my feet were cut by the rocks. I fell in the grass, exhausted.
When I opened my eyes, for a few seconds I didn’t know where I was. But, kneeling beside me, touching my face with a leaf, was a very young girl.
‘Oh, I’m so glad,’ she whispered softly, as I sat up and looked at her. ‘Now you’ll try to be better, won’t you?’
I had never heard as sweet a sound as this girl’s voice, nor seen anything as beautiful as the large dark eyes that watched me, full of care and wonder. I stared at her without speaking, noticing her long, shining black hair.
‘What is your name?’ she said, ‘and how did you get here, and what have you got in your bag?’
‘They’re fish for my mother,’ I said. ‘Very special fish. But I’ll give you some, if you like.’
‘Dear me - you’re so proud of them, when they’re only fish! But look at your feet - they’re bleeding. Let me tie something round them for you.’
‘Oh, I’m not worried about them,’ I said bravely. ‘My name’s John Ridd. What’s your name?’
‘Lorna Doone,’ she answered, in a soft voice, and looked down at the grass. She seemed afraid of her own name. ‘Lorna Doone. Didn’t you know?’
I stood up and touched her hand, and tried to make her look at me, but she turned away. I felt sorry for her - and even more sorry when she started to cry.
‘Don’t cry,’ I said. ‘I’m sure you’ve never done any harm. I’ll give you all my fish, Lorna, and catch some more for my mother.’
But she looked so sad, with the tears running down her face, that my heart ached for her and I gave her a kiss. At once my face turned red - here was I, just a simple farmer’s boy, but she, though young, was clearly a lady and far above me.
She turned her head away, and I felt I should go. But I couldn’t. She turned back to look at me.
‘You must go,’ she said. ‘They will kill us if they find us together. You have found a way up into the valley, which they could never believe. You must go now, but when your feet are better, you can come and tell me how they are.’ She smiled at me, and I could see that she liked me.
We talked for a while longer, but then a shout came down the valley. Lorna’s face changed from playfulness to fear. We whispered our goodbyes, then Lorna ran away from me and lay in the grass, pretending to be asleep. I hid behind some rocks, and saw twelve cruel-looking men come walking down the valley, looking for Lorna. One of them - the biggest of them all, a man with a long black beard - found her. ‘Here she is,’ he said. ‘Here’s our little Queen.’ He picked her up and kissed her so hard that I heard him. Then he put her on his shoulders, and carried her away. But as she went up the valley on the back of this frightening man, Lorna turned and secretly held up her hand to me.
Now I had to find a way out of the valley and get home. I almost broke my neck several times, climbing down the mountain, and I did not get home until long after dark. My mother was angry with me, but I would not say where I had been.
After my adventure, I thought a lot about the strange little girl I had met in Doone valley. But I never really imagined I would go back to the valley again. So after a while I thought less about her, and got on with my work on the farm.
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