Evans and Hooker walked slowly forwards*. It was a body. It lay behind the bushes, face down in the grass. Evans bent down and looked closely at the dead man’s face. He turned him over.
‘Who is he?’ Hooker asked.
‘I don’t know….He was a Chinaman,’ Evans said.
‘How long ago did he die?’ Hooker asked.
Evans looked at the Chinaman. His face was black and purple. ‘Perhaps a month,’ said Evans. Beside the body, there was a shovel*. Evans looked to his left and saw lots of dirt* and a big hole in the ground. ‘Is the treasure near here?’ he asked himself. He looked up. ‘There are the three palm trees,’ he said quietly.
‘What?’ Hooker asked. He didn’t hear his friend. He came forward and looked at the Chinaman’s body. `Did he find the treasure?’ he wondered*. `Is it still here?’ Then he saw the hole and he ran to it. `Evans,’ he called, `come here! Come and see!’
Evans walked towards Hooker.
‘The treasure is all still here,’ said Hooker. ‘Look!’
Evans looked. Hooker was right; here was all the treasure. He jumped down into the bottom of the hole. In the dirt under his feet, he saw yellow gold bars*. He touched the pieces of gold with his fingers.
‘Ouch!’ Evans looked at his hand. A little thorn* was in his finger. He pulled out the thorn and cleaned the dirt off the gold bar. ‘Only gold is so heavy,’ he thought.
`What is the matter?’ Evans asked.
`I don’t know,’ said Hooker. ‘I don’t like it.’
‘What do you not like?’
‘That dead Chinaman,’ said Hooker. `Why is he alone? Why is the treasure still in the hole?’
‘He was alone,’ said Evans angrily.
`Then, why is he dead?’
‘A snake bit him or he was ill or…’ Evans stopped. ‘Oh, I don’t know and it doesn’t matter. We are rich!’ He was sick of Hooker’s anxiety. He took off his shirt and put three gold bars on top of it. `Oh!’ he suddenly cried.
Another thorn was in his finger.
Adapted by EFLshorts.com
forwards – to move ahead, to move in the direction that you are facing
shovel – a spade, a tool for digging holes
dirt – earth, soil
wondered – considered, thought about, pondered
bars – blocks (of chocolate, gold, silver…)
frowned – make a face that shows you are angry or puzzled
anxiety – nervousness, worry, fear