Agatha Christie. The Lamp (part 5)
Слова для понимания:
- a grave case – серьезный случай
- lung trouble – легочное заболевание
- The child would never have lived to grow up – Ребенок не поправится.
- dead calm – мертвая тишина
- There was nothing to do but wait and watch. – Ничего не оставалось, как ждать.
- half-breathed words – на последнем издыхании
A month after this conversation Geoffrey fell very ill. The doctor shook his head and said that it was a grave case as the child had had a serious lung trouble for a long time.
«The child would never have lived to grow up,» he explained.
Mrs. Lancaster was at Geoff’s bed when she heard — the other child. At first the sobs were a part of the wind, but soon they became more distinct, more unmistakable. Finally she heard them in moments of dead calm; a child’s sobs—hopeless, pitiful.
Day by day Geoff grew worse and he spoke of the «little boy» again and again. «I do want to help him get away, I do!» he cried.
He lay very still, hardly breathing. There was nothing to do but wait and watch. Then there came a quiet night, clear and calm, without a wind. Suddenly the child opened his eyes. He looked towards the open door. He tried to speak and Mrs. Lancaster heard his half-breathed words.
«All right, I’m coming,» he whispered.
The mother felt suddenly terrified; she looked around. Somewhere near the other child was laughing. А happy laughter was heard in the room.
«I’m frightened; I’m frightened,» she cried.
A sudden gust of wind passed and left the air quiet as before.
Then they heard a faint sound, a sound of footsteps. Footsteps — light footsteps, going away. Pitter-patter, pitter-patter, they ran — those well-known little feet. Yet —surely — now other footsteps suddenly could be heard, moving quicker and lighter. They went to the door.
Down, down, down, past the door, close to them, pitter-patter, pitter-patter, went the unseen feet of the little children together.
Mrs. Lancaster looked up wildly.
«There are two of them—two!”
Grey with sudden fear, she turned towards the bed in the corner, but her father pointed away.
«There,» he said. Pitter-patter, pitter-patter—fainter and fainter. And then — silence.