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Those who Laugh Last,Laugh Best!

[日期:2006-06-20]   [字体: ]
Henry Kendal walked into his house, took off his big coat, and sat down. Then he read the letter again:

銆銆 I want five hundred pounds, and I'll come to your house to get it. You may have four days to get the money ready. Five hundred pounds is not very much for a rich man like you. "Why must I pay锛?you will ask. I'll tell you the answer. I knew your father. He made banknotes, didn't he锛烡o you want everyone to know this锛烮 don't think so. I'll tell everyone if you don't pay. So have the money ready when I come. One锛峱ound notes, please, and old notes. Don't tell anyone. Be alone when I come. I don't like the police.

A. B. C

銆銆 Kendal's face was troubled. He was rich now, but in the old days he was poor. When he was a boy at Camber, his father got into trouble with the police. His father had a small room at the back of the house. He made bad money in this room. He made banknotes, hundreds of them. But the police came to the house one day, and they found some of the notes. They did not find all of them, because his father hid a lot, but they found some and they caught his father. That was the end of the boy's home life. The police took his father away, and young Henry left home. Everyone in Camber knew his father, and the boy did not like to stay in the town. He left his mother and ran away. He came to Norton.

銆銆 At first the boy got some work in a shop. But after some years he found work at the bank. Everyone liked him. He worked hard. He had a happy face. He helped everyone when he could. He got better and better work at the bank, and now he had the highest place there. A lot of people knew him well and liked him.

銆銆 His father was dead now, but someone knew about him銆俉hat could Kendal do锛?If anyone tells people about my father," he thought, "I must leave the bank. That will be the end of my happy life. "But Kendal was a fighter. "If life is hard", he thought, "I must fight it. There must be something that I can do. I don't want to tell the police. Is there another way锛焀hat shall I do锛?

銆銆 Four nights later, Kendal was sitting at his table at home. He heard the noise of a car far away. It came nearer, but it did not come to the house. The car stopped some way along the road.

銆銆 The sound of a man's feet came to the door and Kendal went to open it. There was not much light outside. "Kendal锛?asked the man who stood there. Kendal could just see a face which was partly covered with a piece of cloth. Two hard eyes looked out through two holes in the cloth.

銆銆 "Yes. "said Kendal. "Are you the man who calls himself A. B. C锛?

銆銆 "Yes. Are you alone锛?

銆銆 "Yes. Come in. "
銆銆 "Walk in front of me. "said the man.

銆銆 Kendal turned, and the man shut the door. Kendal took him into the house. In the light of the room, Kendal could see better. The man was carrying a gun. The man came into the room and turned his head to left and right.

銆銆 "There's no one here, "said Kendal. "You can put that gun away. You're a bigger man than I am. There's a chair by the fire. Sit down. "The man sat down in the chair by the fire and put his gun away. His eyes never left Kendal's face, but he laughed.

銆銆 "So you're going to pay, "he said. "You're right. Kendal. It's better. What will people think if I tell them about your father锛焀ill they want you to stay at the bank锛烮 don't think so, and you don't think so. "He laughed again.

銆銆 Kendal walked over to his table. The man's hard eyes under the cloth looked at him. Kendal took out some banknotes. He did not speak. He put the money into the man's hands. The notes were old and dirty.

銆銆 "Good!"said A. B. C. . "The notes are old. "He turned them over in his hands锛宱ne by one. "Yes锛?he said. He stood up. "There are five hundred锛宎s I told you. We 've had no trouble锛宎nd I'm glad锛孠endal. "He walked to the door of the room and opened it quickly. No one was outside.

銆銆 Ten days later Kendal was sitting in his own room at the bank when a policeman came in. The policeman gave him a one锛峱ound note. "Will you look at that锛孲ir? "he asked. Kendal put the note on his table and looked at it. Then he put it up to the light of the window and looked through it. "This note's bad锛?he said. "We though t so锛?said the policeman.

銆銆 "Yes锛宨t's bad. Where did you get it? Are there some more bad notes in the town? "

銆銆 "Yes锛孖'll tell you about them. "Said the policeman. "Some shopkeepers brought us some notes like this. They were all bad. Have you seen any bad notes at the bank? "

銆銆 "No锛孖 don't know of any. "

銆銆 "That's a good thing. Someone in the town was buying things at the shops with bad money. We started to look for the man. It happened just lately. We never had any before. "

銆銆 "Where did he get them? Do you know? "

銆銆 "No. We asked him锛宐ut he didn't tell us. "
Kendal sat back in his chair. "What will happen to him now? "he said.

銆銆 "Oh锛寃e shall. . . er. . . take him away. "

銆銆 Kendal went to the door with him. "What is the man's name? "he asked.

銆銆 "Alan Brian Carroll. "

銆銆 "Oh锛寉es锛孖 see. Alan Brain Carroll. A. B. C. 锛?Kendal laughed. "I did very well when I kept some of my father's bad old notes and gave them to A. B. C. . "

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