Приключения Шерлока Холмса: Союз Рыжих / The Red-Headed League
Артур Конан Дойл

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Приключения Шерлока Холмса: Союз Рыжих / The Red-Headed League
Артур Конан Дойл

Елена Владимировна Глушенкова

Легко читаем по-английски
«Союз рыжих» – один из наиболее известных рассказов А. К. Дойла из сборника «Приключения Шерлока Холмса», опубликованный в 1891 году. Текст произведения незначительно сокращен и упрощен. Книга также содержит упражнения, комментарий и словарь.

Предназначается для продолжающих изучать английский язык (уровень 2 – Pre-Intermediate).

Артур Конан-Дойл / Arthur Conan Doyle

Приключения Шерлока Холмса: Союз Рыжих / The Red-Headed League

Адаптация текста, комментарий, упражнения и словарь О. Тлушенковой

© Глушенкова Е. В., адаптация текста, упражнения, комментарий, словарь

© ООО «Издательство АСТ»


I called on my friend, Mr. Sherlock Holmes, one day in the autumn of last year and found him speaking to an elderly gentleman with fiery red hair.

“You could not have come at a better time,[1 - You could not have come at a better time – Вы пришли как нельзя более кстати] my dear Watson,” Holmes said.

“I was afraid that you were engaged.”

“So I am.”

“Then I can wait in the next room.”

“Not at all. This gentleman, Mr. Wilson, has been my partner and helper in many of my most successful cases, and I have no doubt that he will be of use to me in yours also.”

The gentleman half rose from his chair and nodded.

“I know, my dear Watson, that you share my love of all that is outside the routine of everyday life. You have shown it by the enthusiasm with which you chronicled so many of my adventures,” said Holmes.

“Your cases have been of the greatest interest to me,” I observed.

“Now, Mr. Jabez Wilson here has been good enough to call upon me this morning and go begin a story which promises to be one of the most unusual which I have listened to for some time. As far as I have heard, it is impossible for me to say whether this case is an example of crime or not, but events are certainly very unusual. Perhaps, Mr. Wilson, you would repeat your story. I ask you not only because my friend, Dr. Watson, has not heard the beginning but also because your story makes me anxious to hear every detail. As a rule, when I have heard some story, I am able to think of the thousands of other similar cases. But not now.”

The client, looking a little proud, took a newspaper from the pocket of his coat. As he glanced down the advertisement column, I took a good look at the man and tried, like my companion, to read what his dress or appearance could tell me.

I did not learn very much, however. Our visitor looked like a common British tradesman. There was nothing remarkable about the man except his blazing red head.

Sherlock Holmes saw my glances. “Except the facts that he has at some time worked with his hands, that he is a Freemason, that he has been in China, and that he has done a lot of writing lately, I can deduce nothing else.”

“How did you know all that, Mr. Holmes?” Mr. Jabez Wilson asked. “How did you know, for example, that I worked with my hands? It’s true, for I began as a carpenter.”

“Your hands, my dear sir. Your right hand is much larger than your left. You have worked with it, and the muscles are more developed.”

“Well, and the Freemasonry?”

“I won’t tell you how I read that, especially as, rather against the strict rules of your order, you use an arc-and-compass breastpin.[2 - rather against the strict rules of your order, you use an arc-and-compass breastpin – вопреки строгим правилам своего ордена, вы носите булавку с изображением дуги и окружности (дуга и окружность – знаки масонов; в прежние времена они были тайными, но сейчас многие масоны в нарушение старинного устава носят различные предметы с их изображением)]”

“Ah, of course, I forgot that. But the writing?”

“Your right cuff is so shiny, and the left one has a patch near the elbow where you put it on the desk.”

“Well, but China?”

“The fish that you have tattooed on your hand could only be done in China. I have made a small study of tattoos.”

Mr. Jabez Wilson laughed. “Well, I never![3 - Well, I never! – Ни за что б не догадался!]” said he. “I thought at first that you had done something clever, but I see that there was nothing in it, after all.”

“I begin to think, Watson,” said Holmes, “that I make a mistake in explaining. Can you not find the advertisement, Mr. Wilson?”

“Yes, I have got it now,” he answered. “Here it is. This is what began it all. You just read it for yourself, sir.”

I took the paper from him and read as follows.

TO THE RED-HEADED LEAGUE: On account of the bequest of the late Ezekiah Hopkins, of Lebanon, Pennsylvania, U. S. A.,[4 - On account of the bequest of the late Ezekiah Hopkins, of Lebanon, Pennsylvania, U. S. A. – Во исполнение завещания покойного Иезекии Хопкинса из Лебанона, штат Пенсильвания (США)] there is now another vacancy open for a member of the League with a salary of 4 pounds a week. All red-headed men who are above the age of twenty-one years, are eligible. Apply on Monday, at eleven o’clock, to Duncan Ross, at the offices of the League, 7, Fleet Street.

“What does this mean?” I exclaimed after I had twice read the advertisement.

“And now, Mr. Wilson, tell us all about yourself, your household, and the effect which this advertisement had on your life. Make a note, Doctor, of the paper and the date.”

“It is The Morning Chronicle of April 27, 1890. Just two months ago.”

“Very good. Now, Mr. Wilson?”

“Well, it is just as I told you, Mr. Sherlock Holmes,” said Jabez Wilson; “I have a small pawnbroker’s business at Coburg Square, near the City. It’s not very large, and it has just given me a living. I used to be able to keep two assistants, but now I keep one; and I can do it only because he agrees to work for half wages to learn the business.”

“What is the name of this young man?” asked Sherlock Holmes.

“His name is Vincent Spaulding, and he’s not very young. It’s hard to say his age. I do not wish a better assistant, Mr. Holmes; and I know very well that he could earn twice what I am able to give him. But, after all, if he is satisfied, why should I put ideas in his head?[5 - why should I put ideas in his head? – зачем я стану внушать ему вредные для меня идеи?]”

“Why, indeed? You seem most lucky to have an assistant for half wages. Your assistant is as remarkable as your advertisement.”

“Oh, he has his faults, too,” said Mr. Wilson. “He is very much interested in photography. He slips away with a camera when he ought to be working, and then dives down into the cellar like a rabbit into its hole to develop his pictures. That is his main fault, but he’s a good worker.”

“He is still with you, I presume?”

“Yes, sir. He and a girl of fourteen, who does simple cooking and keeps the place clean – that’s all I have in the house, for I am a widower. We live very quietly, sir, the three of us.

“Spaulding, he came into the office eight weeks ago, with this paper in his hand and said:

“‘I wish, Mr. Wilson, that I was a red-headed man.’

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