—ердца трЄх / Hearts of three
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јдаптаци€ текста, комментарии и словарь —. ј. ћатвеева
УYes, sir; IТve read of him, sir.Ф
Parker had paused in the doorway.
УNothing to be proud of, the old pirate.Ф
УHm, we Morgans never found his treasure.Ф
Francis went to the phone.
УHello, yes, this is I, Morgan. What is it?Е To sell? Nothing of the sortЕ Of course, IТm glad to know. Nonsense. If it goes down five points,6
* * *
And while Francis returned delightedly to his arm-chair, Thomas Regan7
Five minutes later the clerk was back, this time with a message. Regan read it:
Regan shook his head.
УBy great effort, and years of research, I have finally won to the clue to the buccaneer gold of Sir Henry Morgan,Ф he began. УOf course itТs on the Mosquito Coast.11
Senor Torres paused in eloquent inability to describe more definitely.
УAnd sir,Ф Senor Torres continued, УI am somewhat embarrassed for immediate funds.Ф
УYou need the money,Ф the stock operator assured him brutally, and he bowed.
Regan wrote a check, in the name of Alvarez Torres, and when that gentleman glanced at it he read the figures of a thousand dollars.
УNow hereТs the idea,Ф said Regan. УI donТt believe a word in your story. But I have a young friend, and he is too tired to live in a big town, you understand?Ф
Senor Alvarez Torres bowed.
УNow, for the good of his health, as well as his wealth and the saving of his soul, the best thing that could happen to him is a trip after treasure, adventure, exercise, andЕ you readily understand, I am sure.Ф
Again Alvarez Torres bowed.
УYou need the money,Ф Regan continued. УTry to interest him. That thousand is for your effort. If he departs after old MorganТs gold, two thousand more is yours. If he remains away three months, two thousand more; six months Ц five thousand. Oh, believe me, I knew his father. We were comrades, partners, I might say, almost brothers. I can sacrifice any sum to his son. What do you say? The thousand is yours to begin with. Well?Ф
With trembling fingers Senor Alvarez Torres folded and unfolded the check.
УIЕ I accept,Ф he stammered and faltered in his eagerness. УIЕ IЕ How shall I say?Е I am yours. Mr. Regan, it is true. I need the money. You are so generous, and I shall do my bestЕФ
Senor Torres went away. In some minutes Francis Morgan came in.
УI have come for a bit of counsel,Ф he said, greetings over.13
УThatТs what I say,Ф Francis answered. УI worry. DonТt you think somebody is trying to get control?Ф
His fatherТs associate shook the head.
УWhy,Ф he said, УWhat do you say?Ф
УOf course itТs good,Ф was FrancisТ warm response. УIf it drops, IТll buy. I tell you, Regan, itТs immense. I have a kind of interest, IТm doing nicely, and I donТt want Tampico Petroleum to go up.Ф
УDonТt you worry about that, my boy. You go fishing and forget it.Ф Regan paused, with finely simulated sudden recollection, and picked up Alvarez TorresТ card with the note. УLook, whoТs just been here Ц Senor Alvarez Torres.Ф
Regan retained the card a moment. УWhy go fishing? After all, itТs only recreation. HereТs a full-size manТs recreation. ItТs about old MorganТs treasure. Look, your father always was always proud of that old family pirate.Ф
УI was told about his treasure. Look, here is the map.Ф
Francis looked up questioningly from the reading of the card.
УSenor Torres,Ф Regan explained. УGave me the map. Here is the treasure buried. Of course, I donТt believe a word of it. ButЕ You know, Sir Henry died practically a poor man, and they never did find any of his buried treasure. Oh, I wish I were younger!Е Anyway, good fishing,Ф Regan girded edly.
УIТd like to meet this Alvarez Torres,Ф the young man responded. УDo you know where I can find him?Ф
The next morning the meeting took place in ReganТs office. Modern maps and ancient charts were studies, as well as old documents, and at the end of half an hour Francis announced that his next fishing would be on the Bull Island,16
УI always wanted to see that country down there!Ф Francis said. УAnd you, Senor Torres?Ф
УI shall join you later, Mr. Morgan.Ф Alvarez Torres said. УI have some little business here.Ф
УAnd, before you start,Ф Regan noticed, Уit might be well to arrange with Senor Torres some division of the treasureЕ if you ever find it.Ф
УWhat would you say?Ф Francis asked.
УEqual division, fifty-fifty,Ф Regan answered, he was talking of something he was certain did not exist.
УFine!Ф Francis cried. УAnd IТve got to rush to pack and break engagements and catch the train. Good-bye, Regan. Good-bye, Senor Torres, until we meet somewhere around Bocas del Toro, or in on the Bull!Ф
And Senor Alvarez Torres remained with Regan some time longer, receiving explicit instructions.
УIn short,Ф Regan concluded, УI donТt almost care if he never comes back if you can keep him down there for the good of his health that long and longer.Ф
So Francis Morgan, three weeks after he had said good-bye to Regan, found himself on board his schooner, the Angelique.20
УWho lives around here?Ф he asked.
УThe Enrico Solano22
Straight to the white beach of coral sand Francis rowed, not looking over his shoulder to see if the woman remained or had vanished. When the skiff grounded, he stepped out, and with one sturdy arm lifted its nose up the sand to fasten it by its own weight. Then he turned around. The beach to the jungle was bare. He went forward confidently.
Suddenly, the woman sprang out of the green wall of jungle and with both hands seized his arm. She muttered tensely:
УQuick! Follow me!Ф
A moment he resisted. She shook him.
УDo as I do.Ф
He smiled and obeyed. Abruptly she stopped and sat down, her hand directed him to sit beside her. УThank God!Ф
УMy dear ladyЕФ Francis began.
But an abrupt gesture checked him. He heard the movement of men several yards away.
She slipped away down the runway. Francis followed her, through the jungle to the beach. She stopped.
УYou fool!Ф she cried, lifting her finger to his toothbrush moustache. УAs if that could disguise you!Ф
УBut my dear ladyЕФ he began to protest.
УI wonТt talk with you,Ф she answered. УGo back to your schooner, and go awayЕ Forever. If you ever come back I shall shoot you.Ф She showed him a revolver.
УSo IТd better go, then,Ф he uttered, as he turned to the skiff. She had followed him. The strange young woman, dropped to her side, was crying. Francis was about to turn to the boat, when she stopped him.
She advanced impulsively. Francis hesitated a puzzled moment, then gathered her in to receive an astounding passionate kiss on his lips. She lifted her tear-wet face and kissed him again and again.
Then she menacingly directed him with the revolver to get into the boat.
From the edge of the jungle he saw three men, armed with rifles, run toward her where she had sunk down in the sand. They caught sight of Francis, who had begun rowing. The next moment, one of the tree men on the beach, a bearded elderly man, was directing the girlТs binoculars on him. And the moment after, dropping the glasses, he was taking aim with his rifle.27
The bullet spat on the water within a yard of the skiffТs side, and Francis saw the girl spring to her feet, knock up the rifle with her arm, and spoil the second shot. She was threatening the men with the revolver.
УCayenne pepper, those damned, horrible, crazy Solanos,Ф the captain said.
УYes, youТre right,Ф Francis agreed.
And Francis very immediately found that he had traversed not merely thirty degrees of latitude from New York but thirty hundred years, or centuries. Nearly naked, armed with cruelly heavy hacking blades of machetes,29
Francis decided to meet the mysterious Gringo. He came down to the beach. On the shore, across the narrow channel, he saw a barefooted young man in the canvas trousers, who stepped from behind a palm, automatic pistol in hand, and shouted:
УI beg you pardon?Ф Francis grinned, half-humorously, half-seriously.
УNobody invited you,Ф the stranger retorted. УYouТre intruding. Get off my island. IТll give you half a minute.Ф
FrancisТ arrival behind the trunk was simultaneous with the arrival of a bullet that thudded into the other side of it.
The next few minutes they were shooting each other.
УWhat gun are you using?Ф Francis asked with cool politeness.
УColtТs,Ф came the answer.
The stranger stepped out, and it seemed Francis had previously known him. It was a replica of himself!
УTalk!Ф the stranger sneered, throwing down his pistol and drawing a knife. УNow weТll just cut off your ears, and maybe scalp you.Ф
УGee! LetТs wrestle.Ф Francis retorted.
УI want your ears,Ф the stranger answered pleasantly, as he slowly advanced.
УSure. The man who wins gets the other fellowТs ears.Ф
УAgreed.Ф The young man in the canvas trousers sheathed his knife.
They began to fight. Francis was winning, but the stranger planted his foot in FrancisТ abdomen. In a moment Francis was lying on his back.
УWhy do you wear a mustache?Ф the stranger muttered.
УGo on and cut my ears,Ф Francis gasped. УThe ears are yours, but the mustache is mine.Ф
УAs for your ears, keep them. I never intended to cut them off. Get up and get out of here. And donТt come here again!Ф
In greater disgust than ever, Francis turned down to the beach toward his canoe.
УSay, will you leave your card?Ф the victor called after him.
УMy nameТs Morgan, thatТs enough,Ф Francis answered.
УReally? No wonder we look alike. Listen,Ф the stranger said. УI am a Morgan, too.Ф
УMy first name is Francis,Ф Francis returned. УAnd yours?Ф
УSo am I,Ф said Francis, extending his hand.
Henry rowed off to the Angelique with orders from his visitor to the skipper to stay at anchor. Francis slept until late in the morning of the following day.
УLet me tell you an interesting story,Ф Francis said to Henry. УDay before yesterday, I rowed ashore over on the mainland. The moment I landed, the prettiest girl in the world dragged me away into the jungle. I thought she was going to eat me or marry me. I didnТt know which. Then she passed uncomplimentary remarks on my mustache and pushed me back to the boat with a revolver. She told me never come back.Ф
УWhere on the mainland was this?Ф Henry demanded.
УThe other end of Chiriqui Lagoon,Ф Francis replied. УIt was the ground of the Solano family, I learned; and they are a tough family. But I havenТt told you all. Listen. First she dragged me into the jungle and insulted my mustache; next she chased me to the boat with a drawn revolver; and then she wanted to know why I didnТt kiss her.Ф
УAnd did you?Ф Henry demanded.
УWhat could a poor stranger in a strange land do? The girl was very pretty.Ф
УWhat if it was Leoncia? Or Mercedes? Or Dolores? CanТt a fellow kiss a pretty girl?Ф
УYou see, this pretty girl is engaged to marry the ruffian in the dirty canvas pants!Ф
УBy the way, Henry, since they all thought it was you, and not I, why did they want to kill you?Ф
Henry looked at him a moment, and then answered.
УI quarreled with her uncle. He was her fatherТs youngest brother.Ф
УWas?Ф interrupted Francis.
УWas, I said,Ф Henry nodded. УHe isnТt now. His name was Alfaro Solano,37
УHmm,Ф Francis murmured. УNo wonder her father and brothers wanted to kill me. Why, the more I look at you, the more I see weТre as like as two peas, except for my mustache-Ф
УAnd for thisЕФ Henry rolled up his sleeve, and on the left forearm showed a long, thin white scar. УI got that when I was a boy. I fell oft a windmill.Ф
УNow listen to me,Ф Francis said. УI shall help you. You stay here, while I go back and explain things to Leoncia and her people.Ф
УIf only they donТt shoot you first before you can explain you are not I,Ф Henry muttered bitterly. УThatТs the trouble with those Solanos. They shoot first and talk afterward.Ф
УIТll take a chance, old man,Ф Francis wanted to clear up the distressing situation between Henry and the girl.
But the thought of her perplexed him. That lovely creature belonged to the man who looked so much like him! He saw again the vision of her on the beach. He sighed involuntarily.
УLeoncia is an exceedingly pretty girl,Ф Francis said. УWhereТs that ring she returned? If I donТt put it on her finger for you and be back here in a week with the good news, you can cut off my mustache along with my ears.Ф
An hour later, Captain sent a boat to the beach from the Angelique. The two young men said good-bye.
УJust two things more, Francis. First, and I forgot to tell you, Leoncia is not a Solano at all, though she thinks she is. Alfaro told me himself. She is an adopted child, Alfaro said she wasnТt Spanish at all. I donТt even know whether sheТs English or American. You see, she was adopted when she was a baby, and sheТs never known anything else than that Enrico is her father.Ф
УAnd no wonder she scorned and hated me for you,Ф Francis laughed, УShe believes that you killed her uncle.Ф
Henry nodded, and went on.
УThe other thing is fairly important. And thatТs the law. Or the absence of it, rather. They make it whatever they want it. ItТs a long way to Panama,40
* * *
Two days later, after the news that all the men of LeonciaТs family were away, Francis had himself landed on the beach where he had first met her. As Francis scrawled on a sheet of paper from his notebook, УI am the man whom you mistook for Henry Morgan, and I have a message for you from him,Ф he heard LeonciaТs cry. Note and pencil fell to the sand as he sprang toward the direction of the cry. Soon he saw her. LeonciaТs face was colorless.
УWhat is it?Ф Francis demanded. УAre you hurt? WhatТs happened?Ф
She pointed at her bare knee with two tiny drops of blood.
УIt was a viperine,Ф she said. УA deadly viperine. I shall be a dead woman in five minutes, and I am glad, glad, for then my heart will be tormented no more by you.Ф
She sank down in a faint.
Francis pulled out his handkerchief and tied it loosely around her leg above the knee. Next, he opened the small blade of his pocket-knife, burned it with several matches, and cut carefully into the two lacerations made by the snakeТs fangs.
The girl began to move restlessly. УLie down,Ф he commanded, as she sat up.
At the same instant the Indian lad ran out of the jungle, swinging a small dead snake by the tail and crying:
At which Francis assumed the worst.
УLie down, and be quiet!Ф he repeated harshly. УYou havenТt a second to lose.Ф
But watched only the dead snake.
УYou dare!Ф she threatened him. УItТs only a baby labarri, and its bite is harmless. I thought it was a viperine. They look alike when the labarri is small.Ф
The constriction of the circulation by the tourniquet pained her, and she glanced down and discovered his handkerchief knotted around her leg.
УOh, what have you done? It was only a baby labarri,Ф she reproached him.
УYou told me it was a viperine,Ф he retorted.
She hid her face in her hands. He could say that she was laughing.
УAnd now, weТll talk business, Miss Solano,Ф he said in changed tones. УAnd you will listen. Please, donТt interrupt me.Ф He stooped and picked up the note he had been writing. УI was just sending that to you by the boy when you screamed. Take it. Read it. It wonТt bite you. It isnТt a viperine.Ф
Though she refused to receive it, her eyes involuntarily scanned the opening line:
УI am the man whom you mistook for Henry MorganЕФ
УYouЕ areЕ notЕ Henry?Ф she gasped.
УNo, I am not. WonТt you please take it and read.Ф
УBut the name? Your name?Ф
УMorgan, Francis Morgan.Ф He bowed. УAs I explained there, Henry and I are distant relatives, or something like that. Moreover, Henry did not kill your uncle.Ф
To his bewilderment, a great doubt suddenly dawned in her eyes.
УHenry,Ф she accused him. УThis is a devilТs trick youТre trying to play on me. Of course you are Henry.Ф
Francis pointed to his mustache.
УYouТve grown that since,Ф she challenged.
He pulled up his sleeve and showed her his left arm from wrist to elbow.
УDo you remember the scar?Ф he asked.
УThen find it.Ф
УIЕ I ask your forgiveness. I was terribly mistaken, and IТve treated youЕФ
УThat kiss was delightful,Ф he naughtily disclaimed.
УDo you have a message from Henry,Ф she changed the subject abruptly. УIs he innocentЕ? This is true? Oh, I want to believe you!Ф
УI am morally certain that Henry did not kill your uncle!Ф
УThen say no more, at least not now,Ф she interrupted joyfully. УFirst of all, you must go with me now to the house. And you can tell me about Henry on the way.Ф
* * *
Alvarez Torres was sitting on the broad piazza of the Solano Hacienda.44
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