Домашнее чтение на английском языке «The Murder of Roger Ackroyd»

Agatha Christie. The Murder of Roger Ackroyd (продолжение)

В этой главе вы узнаете тайну Урсулы Бурн.

Chapter 21. Ursula’s Story

1. Words to remember:

  1. burst into tears — расплакаться
  2. in silence — молча
  3. innocent (adj) — невиновный
  4. the whole story — всю историю
  5. the whole truth — всю правду
  6. earn one’s living — заработать на жизнь
  7. reference (n) — рекомендательное письмо
  8. alow (v) — позволить
  9. announce (v) — объявить
  10. decision (n) — решение
  11. break the engagement — разорвать помолвку
  12. independence — независимость
  13. the exact time — точное время
  14. convenient (adj) — удобный
  15. bitter words — горькие слова
  16. part (v) — расстаться

Закрытый контент сайта. Chapter 21. Ursula’s Story

For a moment or two the girl looked at Poirot. Then she nodded her head and burst into tears.

Caroline walked up to the girl and put her arm around her shoulder.

«Now, now, my dear,» she said, «it will be all right. You will see — everything will be all right.»

«How did you know?» said Ursula to Poirot. «Did Ralph tell you?»

Poirot shook his head.

«Do you know why I have come to you tonight?» went on the girl. «This,» and she showed him a piece of newspaper. «It says that Ralph is arrested.»

«Newspaper paragraphs are not always true, mad­emoiselle,» said Poirot. «But it is very good that you have come. We need the truth now.»

The girl looked at him in silence.

«You don’t trust me,» said Poirot kindly. «But you came here to find me, didn’t you? Why was that?»

«Because I don’t believe that Ralph killed Mr. Ackroyd,» said the girl. «And I think that you are clever and will find out the truth. And also — »


«I think you are kind.»

Poirot nodded his head several times. «It is very good, yes, it is very good. Listen to me: I believe that your husband is innocent — but the thing looks bad. If I am going to save him, I must know everything. That’s why I want you to tell me the whole story. From the very beginning. Will you do it?»

And Ursula Bourne told us her story which I re­peat here in my own words.

She was born in a poor family. There were seven children. After their father’s death the children had to earn their own living. Ursula’s eldest sister was married to Captain Folliott, she was the woman I went to see that Sunday. Now it was clear why Mrs. Folliott did not want to answer my questions. She wrote a reference to Ursula, saying that she had worked for her, which helped the girl to find work in Mr. Ackroyd’s house. There she met Ralph, and they fell in love with each other. They were married se­cretly, because Ralph was sure that his stepfather would not allow him to marry a poor girl.

Roger Ackroyd had other plans. He decided that Ralph must marry Flora, and announced his decision to the young people. Ralph and Flora were good friends, but they never loved each other. But Ralph never had money and always had debts. If he was engaged to Flora, Roger Ackroyd would pay his debts — he knew that. And later he hoped to find a way to break the engagement1 with Flora. So he agreed. Flora agreed because she hoped that marriage would bring her independence.

Ralph did not tell Ursula about his engagement with Flora: he felt that Ursula would be very angry.

Then Roger Ackroyd announced to everybody in the house that Ralph and Flora were engaged. As the reader remembers, Ralph Paton lived in London, so he did not hear about it. For Ursula this news was like a bomb. She immediately called Ralph from Lon­don, and they met in the wood where my sister heard part of their conversation. Ursula was very angry, and Ralph asked her to wait and keep silent for a little while longer.

That very afternoon Ursula went to Mr. Ackroyd and told him that she and Ralph were married. And that was why Ursula was leaving Fernly.

The same evening Ursula and Ralph met in the small summer-house. They said bitter words to each other. Then they parted. And half an hour later Ackroyd’s dead body was found. Since that night Ursula never saw Ralph and never heard from him. It was very clear now how bad the whole thing was for Ralph. Roger Ackroyd’s death was very conven­ient for the young man: it came just in time.

Poirot spoke, «Mademoiselle,» he said, «I must ask you one question, and you must answer it truthfully, because everything may depend on it. What time was it when you parted from Captain Ralph Paton in the summer-house? Think a little, please, because I want you to give me the exact time.»

The girl laughed bitterly. «Do you think I haven’t thought about it again and again? It was just half past nine when I went out to meet him. Major Blunt was walking up and down the terrace, and I had to go round through the bushes, so that he did not see me. I came to the summer-house in two or three minutes. Ralph was waiting for me. I was with him ten min­utes — not longer, and when I got back to the house, it was just a quarter to ten.»

to find  a way to break  the engagement — найти способ расторгнуть помолвку

Now I understood the meaning of her questions to me the other day. She wanted me to say that Ackroyd had been killed before a quarter to ten, and not after.

«What did you do when you got back to the house?» asked Poirot.

«I went up to my room.»

«And until what time did you stay in your room?»

«Until about ten o’clock.»

«Can anybody prove it?»

«Prove it? That I was in my room? Oh! No. Oh! I see! Maybe they think — »

Poirot finished the sentence for her. «Yes. They may think that it was you who entered the study by the window and stabbed Mr. Ackroyd.»

«Only a fool may think so,» said Caroline angrily. She patted Ursula on the shoulder.

The girl covered her face with her hands. «Horri­ble,» she said. «Horrible.»

«Don’t worry, my dear,» said Caroline. «M. Poirot does not think so.»

«When the murder was discovered and nobody knew where Ralph was, I was terribly upset,» said Ursula. «I wanted him to come and say to everybody that he had not committed that murder. I knew that he was very friendly with Dr. Sheppard, so I thought that perhaps Dr. Sheppard knew where he was.»

«My dear child,» I said, «I have no idea where Ralph is at this moment.»

«That is true,» said Poirot.

«But — » Ursula took the piece of newspaper again.

«Ah! that,» said Poirot. «It’s nothing, mademoi­selle, nothing. I don’t believe for a moment that Ralph Paton  is arrested.»

«But then — » began the girl.

«There is one thing which I should like to know», continued Poirot. «Did Captain Paton wear shoes or boots that night?»    „

Ursula shook her head. «I can’t remember. «It’s a pity,» said Poirot. «Now, madam,» he smiled at her, «ask me no more questions. And don’t worry. Be brave and trust Hercule Poirot.»

* * *

Задания к главе 21

1. Check if you remember the words:


  1. tears => burst into tears
  2. silence => in silence
  3. reference
  4. decision (<= to decide)
  5. engagement (<= to be engaged)
  6. announcement (<= to announce)
  7. independence (<= independent)


  1. innocent
  2. the whole, e.g. the whole truth
  3. exact e.g. the exact time
  4. bitter e.g. bitter words
  5. convenient e.g. convenient time


  1. earn one’s living
  2. alow
  3. announce the engagement
  4. break the engagement
  5. part (v)

2. Read the chapter up to Ursula’s story and then answer the question:

What made Ursula come to Poirot?

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3. Read the chapter up to the end and then answer the question:

Did anybody know where Ralph Paton was at that moment?

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4. Ответы к заданиям для самопроверки — ПОЛУЧИТЬ

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