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La Fortune de La bÉgum Bilingue FranÇais Anglais 7

La Fortune de La bÉgum Bilingue FranÇais Anglais 7

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FrenchPodClass
http:/ / w w w .frenchpodclass.com
Les 500 Millions de la Begum \u2013 The Begum\u2019s fortune
Jules Verne
Chapitre 8
LA CAVERNE DU DRAGON
Chapter 8
THE DRAGON'S DEN

Le lecteur qui a suivi les progr\u00e8s de la fortune du jeune Alsacien ne sera probablement pas surpris de le trouver parfaitement \u00e9tabli, au bout de quelques semaines, dans la familiarit\u00e9 de Herr Schultze. Tous deux \u00e9taient devenus ins\u00e9parables. Travaux, repas, promenades dans le parc, longues pipes fum\u00e9es sur des mooss de bi\u00e8re \u2014 ils prenaient tout en commun. Jamais l\u2019ex- professeur d\u2019I\u00e9na n\u2019avait rencontr\u00e9 un collaborateur qui f\u00fbt aussi bien selon son coeur, qui le compr\u00eet pour ainsi dire \u00e0 demi-mot, qui s\u00fbt utiliser aussi rapidement ses donn\u00e9es th\u00e9oriques.

Marcel n\u2019\u00e9tait pas seulement d\u2019un m\u00e9rite transcendant dans toutes les branches du m\u00e9tier, c\u2019\u00e9tait aussi le plus charmant compagnon, le travailleur le plus assidu, l\u2019inventeur le plus modestement f\u00e9cond.

Herr Schultze \u00e9tait ravi de lui. Dix fois par jour, il se disait in petto :

\u00ab Quelle trouvaille ! Quelle perle que ce gar\u00e7on ! \u00bb La v\u00e9rit\u00e9 est que Marcel avait p\u00e9n\u00e9tr\u00e9 du premier coup d\u2019oeil le caract\u00e8re de son terrible patron. Il avait vu que sa facult\u00e9 ma\u00eetresse \u00e9tait un \u00e9go\u00efsme immense, omnivore, manifest\u00e9 au-dehors par une vanit\u00e9 f\u00e9roce, et il s\u2019\u00e9tait religieusement attach\u00e9 \u00e0 r\u00e9gler l\u00e0-dessus sa conduite de tous les instants.

En peu de jours, le jeune Alsacien avait si bien appris le doigt\u00e9 sp\u00e9cial de ce clavier, qu\u2019il \u00e9tait arriv\u00e9 \u00e0 jouer du Schultze comme on joue du piano. Sa tactique consistait simplement \u00e0 montrer autant que possible son propre m\u00e9rite, mais de mani\u00e8re \u00e0 laisser toujours \u00e0 l\u2019autre une occasion de r\u00e9tablir sa sup\u00e9riorit\u00e9 sur lui. Par exemple, achevait-il un dessin, il le faisait parfait \u2014 moins un d\u00e9faut facile \u00e0 voir comme \u00e0 corriger, et que l\u2019ex-professeur signalait aussit\u00f4t avec exaltation.

THE READER who has followed the progress of our young Aisacian's fortune will probably not be much surprised to find him, at the end of a few weeks, firmly established in Herr Schultz's favour. The two had become inseparable. They worked together, they ate and walked together, and together they sat smoking over their foaming glasses of beer. The ex-professor of Iena had never before met with a coadjutor so entirely after his own heart, one who caught his meaning with half a word, ' and who could so- rapidly utilize his theoretical ideas.

Max not merely possessed transcendent merit in all branches of the profession, he was also the most charming companion, the most diligent worker, the most modestly fertile inventor.

Herr Schultz was delighted with him. Ten times a day he said to
himself, "What a treasure! what a pearl this fellow is!"

The truth was that Max had, at the first glance, seen through the character of his formidable patron, and, perceiving that blind and insatiable vanity was its leading feature, he regulated his conduct by humouring the egotism which he despised.

In a dew days the young man had acquired such skill in the fingering necessary for this human keyboard, that he could play upon Schultz as easily as one plays on a piano.

His tactics merely consisted in exhibiting his own merits to advantage, but always in such a way as to leave an opening for his master to show superiority over him. For instance, when he finished a drawing he would leave

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Avait-il une id\u00e9e th\u00e9orique, il cherchait \u00e0 la faire na\u00eetre dans la conversation, de telle sorte que Herr Schultze p\u00fbt croire l\u2019avoir trouv\u00e9e. Quelquefois m\u00eame il allait plus loin, disant par exemple :

\u00ab J\u2019ai trac\u00e9 le plan de ce navire \u00e0 \u00e9peron d\u00e9tachable, que vous m\u2019avez
demand\u00e9.
\u2014 Moi ? r\u00e9pondait Herr Schultze, qui n\u2019avait jamais song\u00e9 \u00e0 pareille
chose.

\u2014 Mais oui ! Vous l\u2019avez donc oubli\u00e9 ?... Un \u00e9peron d\u00e9tachable, laissant dans le flanc de l\u2019ennemi une torpille en fuseau, qui \u00e9clate apr\u00e8s un intervalle de trois minutes !

\u2014 Je n\u2019en avais plus aucun souvenir. J\u2019ai tant d\u2019id\u00e9es en t\u00eate ! \u00bb
Et Herr Schultze empochait consciencieusement la paternit\u00e9 de la
nouvelle invention.

Peut-\u00eatre, apr\u00e8s tout, n\u2019\u00e9tait-il qu\u2019\u00e0 demi dupe de cette manoeuvre. Au fond, il est probable qu\u2019il sentait Marcel plus fort que lui. Mais, par une de ces myst\u00e9rieuses fermentations qui s\u2019op\u00e8rent dans les cervelles humaines, il en arrivait ais\u00e9ment \u00e0 se contenter de \u00ab para\u00eetre \u00bb sup\u00e9rieur, et surtout de faire illusion \u00e0 son subordonn\u00e9.

\u00ab Est-il b\u00eate, avec tout son esprit, ce m\u00e2tin-l\u00e0 ! \u00bb se disait il parfois en d\u00e9couvrant silencieusement dans un rire muet les trente-deux \u00ab dominos \u00bb de sa m\u00e2choire.

D\u2019ailleurs, sa vanit\u00e9 avait bient\u00f4t trouv\u00e9 une \u00e9chelle de compensation. Lui seul au monde pouvait r\u00e9aliser ces sortes de r\u00eaves industriels !... Ces r\u00eaves n\u2019avaient de valeur que par lui et pour lui !... Marcel, au bout du compte, n\u2019\u00e9tait qu\u2019un des rouages de l\u2019organisme que lui, Schultze, avait su cr\u00e9er, etc.

Avec tout cela, il ne se d\u00e9boutonnait pas, comme on dit. Apr\u00e8s cinq mois de s\u00e9jour \u00e0 la Tour du Taureau, Marcel n\u2019en savait pas beaucoup plus sur les myst\u00e8res du Bloc central. A la v\u00e9rit\u00e9, ses soup\u00e7ons \u00e9taient devenus des quasi-certitudes. Il \u00e9tait de plus en plus convaincu que Stahlstadt recelait un secret, et que Herr Schultze avait encore un bien autre but que celui du gain. La nature de ses pr\u00e9occupations, celle de son industrie m\u00eame rendaient infiniment vraisemblable l\u2019hypoth\u00e8se qu\u2019il avait invent\u00e9 quelque nouvel engin de guerre.

Mais le mot de l\u2019\u00e9nigme restait toujours obscur.
Marcel en \u00e9tait bient\u00f4t venu \u00e0 se dire qu\u2019il ne l\u2019obtiendrait pas sans une
crise. Ne la voyant pas venir, il se d\u00e9cida \u00e0 la provoquer.

C\u2019\u00e9tait un soir, le 5 septembre, \u00e0 la fin du d\u00eener. Un an auparavant, jour pour jour, il avait retrouv\u00e9 dans le puits Albrecht le cadavre de son petit ami Carl. Au loin, l\u2019hiver si long et si rude de cette Suisse am\u00e9ricaine couvrait encore toute la campagne de son manteau blanc. Mais, dans le parc de

it perfect, with the exception of some slight fault, as easy to see as to correct,
and this the ex-professor immediately and exultantly pounced upon.

Had he some theoretical idea, he developed it in the course of conversation in such a way that Herr Schultz might fancy that he himself had originated it. Sometimes he even went further, saying boldly\u2014

\u201cI have traced that plan of a battleship with the detachable ram which
you asked f or.\u201d
\u201cMe?" returned Herr Schultz, who had never dreamt of such a thing.

"Why, yes! you don't mean to say you have forgotten? A detachable ram, which will leave a spindle-shaped torpedo in the enemy's side, to burst after three minutes!"

1 hadn't the least recollection of it. That comes .of having a head like mine! it's so full of inventive genius that I forget my own ideas," And Herr Schultz conscientiously pocketed the credit of the new invention.

Perhaps, after all, he was only half duped by this artifice. In his innermost heart he probably felt that Max was stronger than he. But by one of those mysterious workings of the human brain, he was contented with the appearance of superiority as long as he could delude his subordinate.

"But the fellow must be an ass after all, in spite of his clevenest he would sometimes say to himself, with a silent laugh which showed all the thirty-two dominoes in his jaw.

His vanity, if it were-ever wounded, was soon consoled by the reflection that he alone in ail the world could carry out these inventions and ideas. They would have been of no value but for his gold. After all Max was only part of the mechanism which he, Schultz, had set going, and so on, and so forth.

Yet, though he was in such high favour, Max was never taken into the professor's confidence, and after five months' sojourn in the Bull Tower he knew little more than at first of its' mysteries. His suspicions had become certainties, and that was all. He was now sure that Stahlstadt contained a secret, and that Herr Schultz had some aim far beyond that of mere profit. The nature of his occupation made it extremely probable that he had invented some completely new engine of warfare.

But the enigma had still to be solved. Max at last decided that he could never obtain the knowledge he. sought without bringing the affair to a head, and this he resolved to do.

It was after dinner on the evening of the 5th of September; exactly a
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Stahlstadt, la temp\u00e9rature \u00e9tait aussi ti\u00e8de qu\u2019en juin, et la neige, fondue avant
de toucher le sol, se d\u00e9posait en ros\u00e9e au lieu de tomber en flocons.

\u00ab Ces saucisses \u00e0 la choucroute \u00e9taient d\u00e9licieuses, n\u2019est-ce pas ? fit remarquer Herr Schultze, que les millions de la B\u00e9gum n\u2019avaient pas lass\u00e9 de son mets favori.

\u2014 D\u00e9licieuses \u00bb, r\u00e9pondit Marcel, qui en mangeait h\u00e9ro\u00efquement tous
les soirs, quoiqu\u2019il e\u00fbt fini par avoir ce plat en horreur.
Les r\u00e9voltes de son estomac achev\u00e8rent de le d\u00e9cider \u00e0 tenter l\u2019\u00e9preuve
qu\u2019il m\u00e9ditait.

\u00ab Je me demande m\u00eame, comment les peuples qui n\u2019ont ni saucisses, ni choucroute, ni bi\u00e8re, peuvent tol\u00e9rer l\u2019existence ! reprit Herr Schultze avec un soupir.

\u2014 La vie doit \u00eatre pour eux un long supplice, r\u00e9pondit Marcel. Ce sera
v\u00e9ritablement faire preuve d\u2019humanit\u00e9 que de les r\u00e9unir au Vaterland.

-Eh ! eh !... cela viendra... cela viendra ! s\u2019\u00e9cria le Roi de l\u2019Acier. Nous voici d\u00e9j\u00e0 install\u00e9s au coeur de l\u2019Am\u00e9rique. Laissez-nous prendre une \u00eele ou deux aux environs du Japon, et vous verrez quelles enjamb\u00e9es nous saurons faire autour du globe ! \u00bb

Le valet de pied avait apport\u00e9 les pipes. Herr Schultze bourra la sienne et l\u2019alluma. Marcel avait choisi avec pr\u00e9m\u00e9ditation ce moment quotidien de compl\u00e8te b\u00e9atitude.

\u00ab Je dois dire, ajouta-t-il apr\u00e8s un instant de silence, que je ne crois pas
beaucoup \u00e0 cette conqu\u00eate !
\u2014 Quelle conqu\u00eate ? demanda Herr Schultze, qui n\u2019\u00e9tait d\u00e9j\u00e0 plus au

sujet de la conversation.
\u2014 La conqu\u00eate du monde par les Allemands. \u00bb
L\u2019ex-professeur pensa qu\u2019il avait mal entendu.
\u00ab Vous ne croyez pas \u00e0 la conqu\u00eate du monde par les Allemands ?
\u2014 Non.

\u2014 Ah ! par exemple, voil\u00e0 qui est fort !... Et je serais curieux de
conna\u00eetre les motifs de ce doute !

\u2014 Tout simplement parce que les artilleurs fran\u00e7ais finiront par faire mieux et par vous enfoncer. Les Suisses, mes compatriotes, qui les connaissent bien, ont pour id\u00e9e fixe qu\u2019un Fran\u00e7ais averti en vaut deux. 1870 est une le\u00e7on qui se retournera contre ceux qui l\u2019ont donn\u00e9e. Personne n\u2019en doute dans mon petit pays, monsieur, et, s\u2019il faut tout vous dire, c\u2019est l\u2019opinion des hommes les

year since he had found the body of his little friend Carl in the Albrecht pit.

Outside, the long severe' American winter had already covered the country with its white mantle; but in the park of Stahlstadt the temperature was as warm as during June, and the snow, melting before it touched the ground, fell in rain instead of flakes.

"Those sausages in sauerkraut were delicious, weren't
they?" remarked Herr Schultz, whose love of his favourite dish was
unaffected by the Begum's millions.
"Delicious!" returned Max, who had heroically partaken of this mess
every evening, till at last he hated the very sight of it.
His feelings decided him at once to carry the project he meditated into
effect.
"I wonder," resumed Herr Schultz, with a sigh, "how people can endure
existence, when they have neither sausages, nor sauerkraut, nor beer."
"Life must be one long misery to them," replied Max. "It would really
be a charity to unite all mankind with the Vaterland."

"Well! well! that will come, that will come!" exclaimed the King of Steel. "Here we are already installed in the heart of America. Just let us take an island or twoi n the neighbourhood of Japan, and you will see in how few strides we shall get round the globe!"

The footman now brought in the pipes; Herr Schultz filled and lighted his. Max had purposely determined to make'use of this moment of supreme bliss, so he began, after a few minutes' silence\u2014

"I must say that I don't quite believe in this conquest!"
"What conquest?" asked Herr Schultz, who had forgotten what was the

topic of conversation.
"The conquest of the world by the Germans."
The ex-professor thought he had not heard correctly.
"You don't believe in the conquest of the world by the Germans?"
"No."

"Oh, indeed, that's a strange thing! I'd like to know the reasons for your
doubt."

"Simply because the French artillerymen will end by doing, better, and will far surpass you. The Swiss, my fellow-countrymen, who know them well, are firmly convinced that a Frenchman forewarned is worth two Germans. The lesson of 1870 will be repeated against those who gave it No one doubts this in my little country, sir, and if I may venture to say so, it is the opinion of the

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