Truyện Tiếng Anh: Lorna Doone - Chapter 9-10-11

Hôm nay mn sẽ đăng chap 9-10-11 của truyện vì mình sợ là sắp đi học rồi không có thời gian rỗi nên đăng luôn. Dự kiến ngày 20/21 tháng 8 mình sẽ đăng chap 12, 13. Giờ thì mời các bạn thưởng thức câu chuyện.


Loma's true story

The Doones' attack had been defeated. We knew that they would come again, as soon as they could, in larger numbers. But for now, Jeremy Stickles gave me something else to think about. My dearest wish was to marry Lorna as soon as I could, but after Jeremy's story I began to wonder if it would ever be possible.

A few days after our battle with the Doones, Jeremy said he had something to say to me.

'John, I didn't think the time was right to tell you this before. But now you must hear what I have to say. As you know, I've been riding around Exmoor for many months, looking for information that might be useful to the King. I remembered all that you told me about Lorna, and I think I have discovered something about her. It may not be easy for you to hear, John. Are you ready?'

'I will do my best,' I said.

So he began his story.

'Six or seven months ago, before the snows began, I stopped at an inn on my way from Dulverton to Watchet. The inn was all by itself, right by the sea, and was very quiet. I was the only person staying there, and the woman who owned the inn sat down and talked to me during my meal. She was dark and foreign-looking, and intelligent. I was very interested to know how an unusual woman like her had come to live in this lonely inn, and she told me her story.

'She said that she was from Italy, and her name was Benita. Many years ago, while she was working in Rome, she had met an English family. They were travelling in Italy because they'd had a terrible argument in England with another family. Benita did not know much about the argument, except that it had been about land.

'Benita liked this English family. They were very rich, but they were also kind. So when they asked her to travel with them and take care of their children, she agreed. She loved the children - a little girl and boy - so she was very happy in her work.

'At first everything went well. Together, Benita and the family travelled up through northern Italy and into France. But on the French side of the Pyrenees, the husband of the family had a riding accident and was killed.

'His wife was deeply unhappy, and would not move from the place where he had died for many months. But finally she decided to go home to England and try to start life again. Benita stayed with her, and they took a ship to the Devon coast. They stayed at Exeter, and then left in a coach for Watchet, in the north of Somerset. The lady had a house there, where she planned to live.

'They were warned, at Dulverton, about robbers on the roads, but the lady would not listen. She even travelled at night, which, as we know, is a very dangerous thing to do. So of course they were attacked by robbers. It happened near the sea. The coachmen drove onto the sand, and the robbers followed on their horses. The coach's wheels began to go down in the soft sand, and as the robbers came nearer, the lady pointed to one of them and said: "I know that man! He is our family's old enemy."

'Then a great wave crashed against the coach and turned it over. Benita hit her head on the door and could not remember what happened. The next thing she knew was that she was lying on the sand and the robbers had gone. She looked around for her mistress and saw her sitting on a rock, with her dead son in her arms. The little girl had disappeared. Benita and the two coachmen took the lady into the town, but later that night, she died. This is a sad story!' said Jeremy. 'Give me a drink, boy!'

I saw that there were tears in the brave man's eyes. 'What was the lady's name?' I asked. 'And what happened to the little girl? And why did Benita stay there?' 'I will answer the last question first,' said Jeremy.

'That's the easiest. Benita stayed in that place because the Doones - if that's who they were - stole everything from the coach, and she had no money. She could not go back to Italy. She married a man who lived near the place because he was kind and could give her a home.'

'But the little girl, Jeremy. What happened to her?'

'John - can't you see it? You are more likely to know than anyone in the world! As certain as I sit here, that little girl is Lorna Doone!'

The truth was, I had guessed this, almost from the beginning of Jeremy's story. But it was almost too painful to believe, and I wanted Jeremy to say it. When he described the coach leaving Dulverton, the picture was very clear to me - because I remembered that coach, with the foreign-looking woman, the beautiful lady, the little boy, and the young dark-haired girl. I had seen them - on the day John Fry came to collect me from school, on the day I learnt my father had died.

I also remembered the frightening sight I saw later that night: of the Doones riding with the things they had stolen, and the one with a little girl across his horse in front of him. I also remembered my anger. Now I saw how the very same day had been the blackest and unhappiest of both my and Lorna's childhood days, and how from the very start, our lives had been joined together.

But there was still one question to answer. 'What was the family's name?' I said.

'The father was Lord Dugal - he came from a very grand family. But there is more to this. Look at your ring, John - the one that Lorna gave you. Look at that strange sign, of a cat in a tree. I saw that same sign above the inn door! That is the sign of the House of Lorne. It is the family that Lorna's mother came from. John, your Lorna belongs to one of the richest and most famous families in England!'



Now I had to tell Lorna. So, a day or two later, with an aching heart, I went to tell her what Jeremy had said. I'm afraid that some of my sadness was for me, because now, more than ever, it was certain: Lorna was far, far above me. How could she possibly marry a simple farmer now?

We sat in the garden, and she held my hand while she listened without a word to what I said. But by the look in her beautiful eyes, and by her trembling hand, I could tell how she was feeling. At the end, she turned away and cried for her poor parents. But she spoke not even one word of anger about what had happened to them.

Then, to my surprise, she turned to me and caught me in her arms and kissed me as she had never done before. 'John, I have you. You, and only you. And I want no one else. It does not matter how rich or important my family is.'

It was impossible to doubt those clear deep eyes, and bright trembling lips. But I was afraid of what the future would bring. To me, she was Lorna Doone, but to the world, she was Lady Lorna Dugal - young, beautiful, and rich. And if the world learnt about her, it would want to take her away from me.

Now the date of Tom and Annie's wedding was decided, and I went to Dulverton to buy a present for them. As I was riding, I had time to think more about what Jeremy had told me.

It was clear from his story that Lorna's mother's family, the Lornes, were the family with whom Sir Ensor Doone had argued about land, before he came to Exmoor. This explained why Lorna's mother had called him her 'old enemy', when she saw him that terrible night. And this must be why the Doones had carried Lorna away and kept her, and never told her who she really was. If they could marry her to a Doone before she learnt the truth, perhaps they hoped in this way to get the Lorne family's land. They would be rich and important again - and at the same time have revenge on the Lornes. But it would have to be a lawful marriage, so Sir Ensor had taken good care of Lorna and kept her safe from the wild Doone men. And Carver, seeing how beautiful Lorna had become, had decided to marry her himself.

In Dulverton I stayed with Uncle Ben, and his granddaughter, Ruth. She was a beautiful and intelligent girl, and had often been very kind to me. I did not spend too much money on a present in Dulverton. I was saving for my own wedding to Lorna. I had told her that if her family's great riches ever came to her, I would not touch any of her money. In fact, we had both agreed that we would give nearly everything to the poor, and live simply.

Three days later, dreaming hopefully of the future, I walked into the kitchen at home - and saw immediately that something was wrong. Then Mother and Annie told me that Lorna had gone.

Two men had come from London. They were lawyers and had been sent by the King's judges to take Lorna away. The judges had heard that she was still alive, and they and her uncle had ordered her to come to London. Her uncle was Earl Brandir - the last living person in her family -and Lorna now had to live with him. She could not refuse. She was not yet twenty-one, so she had to do what this uncle and the judges said. Of course, she had begged the lawyers not to take her. But they said they had their orders, and they could not wait for her to say goodbye to me.

' Upstairs, by my bed, Lorna had left me a letter. I ran up to read it. She said she loved me, and she said 'Goodbye', and the letter finished like this:

John, we have been through so many troubles and dangers, but there is no doubt that we belong together. You must believe me. Whatever happens, I am yours.

But I could not stop myself from thinking: 'It is over.

Later, I wondered how the judges and Lorna's uncle had heard that Lorna was still alive. Perhaps Jeremy Stickles had mentioned her in his spying reports to the King and Judge Jeffreys. Perhaps the Doones themselves had sent the news to London - in order to get their revenge on me. The daughter of so famous a family would not be allowed to marry a simple farmer and live quietly in Devon. Jeremy was away on one of his spying trips now, so I could not ask him about it. But, anyway, there was nothing he could do.

The weeks and months passed, and life on the farm seemed lonely and empty. After Annie married Tom, and went to live with him, I felt even more alone. Sometimes I used to go over and see her in her new home, but it was not the same as having her by my side, the friend and companion from my childhood days.


Tom Faggus in danger

We still lived in fear of another attack from the Doones, and now that the soldiers had gone we had no one to help us. The main reason for their first attack - Lorna - was gone, but I was sure that Carver now hated me with all his heart, and would destroy us all if he could. However, Jeremy Stickles brought us some good news one day. The King had at last agreed that the robbers should be punished, and that Jeremy should do whatever was necessary to catch them. So perhaps the Doones were saving their strength, preparing for a much bigger fight than their argument with me.

Then something happened which made everyone afraid for the future. Suddenly, King Charles the Second died. There was terrible trouble in England, as everyone argued over who should be the new King, and soon fighting began.

I wondered if all this would bring any danger for Lorna. But the truth was, I knew very little about her now. She had not written to me since the day she had left, or even sent a message. I only knew what I had heard from travellers in the town. They said that young Lady Lorna Dugal was much talked about in London, as one of the most beautiful women in the city. I became more and more certain that she had forgotten all about John Ridd, among the brighter stars of London.

In June, the fighting became more serious. There was now a new King - James, the son of Charles the Second -but many people in Dorset and Somerset were against him, and had joined an army of rebels. There was no chance now that Jeremy Stickles and his soldiers would fight the Doones. King James needed all his men to fight the rebels. At first we were very worried. Surely the Doones would attack us now. But the Doones had seen a new hope for their future. They had joined the King's enemies, hoping to win back their old land in the fighting. So they had sent most of their men to join the rebels, and were too busy again to worry about the Ridds - at least for a while.

As for me, I had decided that this battle between the King and his enemies was not my fight. Most people in the towns and villages around Oare were on the King's side and we gave no help to his enemies, but sensible people stayed at home. Too many men would die in the fighting anyway, without our joining them.

However, I did get involved in the troubles, because one rainy day Annie came to see us, with some bad news. She ran into the kitchen, her face wet with tears. 'Oh, John!' she cried. 'You must help me!' 'Whatever is the matter, Annie dear?' I said. 'It's Tom,' Annie cried. 'He's gone to join the rebels, and you must, oh, you must go after him and bring him back.' We had been afraid of this. Tom could not forget the excitement of his old life and had become bored with farming. Mother was very unhappy and did not want me to go, but I had to help my unhappy sister. And although I knew it would be dangerous, I was quite glad of the chance of adventure. Perhaps - who knows? - I would learn some news of Lorna on my travels.

So I promised to fetch Annie's husband home, and early the next morning I rode away on our fastest horse. I went from town to town, asking for news of the fighting, but it was four days before I finally found the two armies at Bridgwater. There had been a great battle the night before, which the rebels had lost, and many of them now lay dead or dying on the battlefield. I shall never forget that terrible sight. I thought Tom must be dead, and I walked all over the battlefield, looking for his body. Several times I stopped in my search, to give some poor dying man a last drink from my water bottle.

After a time I found myself near an old farm building, and I suddenly saw that the riderless horse standing in the doorway was without doubt Tom Faggus's horse. I hurried into th£ building, and found Tom lying on the ground, badly wounded. He could still speak, but only in a whisper, because of the pain.

'Put me on my horse, John,' he said, 'and she'll take me home. No one can catch her - she's the fastest horse alive. It's my best chance of escaping.'

He was right. The King's soldiers were still riding around the battlefield, looking for rebels to kill. So I tied up Tom's wound as best I could, put him on his horse, and turned the horse's head for home.

'Thank you, John. I am safe now,' he whispered. He lay along his horse's neck, to close the wound in his side. 'But look out for yourself, John Ridd.'

I watched Tom's horse disappear into the distance, and only a minute later I turned and saw soldiers coming towards me. 'Stop,' they said, 'in the name of the King.'

Tm not a rebel,' I said. 'I'm on the King's side and—'

But they would not listen to me. 'You are an enemy of the King,' they said, 'and the punishment is death.'

I tried to argue with them, and as they laid their hands on me, I knocked one soldier to the ground. This made them even angrier, and the captain ordered his men to tie me to a tree and shoot me at once. There was nothing I could do against twenty men, so I closed my eyes and tried to think about Lorna and my mother. The captain gave the order to fire, but at the same moment I heard a horse coming towards us, and another voice shouting, 'Stop!'

It was Jeremy Stickles! He rode his horse between me and the guns, and started to argue with the captain. His voice was the sweetest sound I had heard for a long time!

The argument was soon over. I heard Jeremy mention Judge Jeffreys once or twice, and before long he had persuaded the captain not to shoot me. 'This man, John Ridd, is my prisoner,' said Jeremy, 'and I shall take him to London for trial there.'

As we rode away together, I thanked Jeremy with all my heart for saving my life.

'You're not safe yet, John,' he said. 'I know you're not an enemy of the King, but many people will not believe you. If you want to stay a free man and keep your farm and land, there's only one thing you can do - you must come to London with me and tell your story to Judge Jeffreys.'

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oh dài thật. 1 like nha

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