‘What are you afraid of?’ Evans asked. Suddenly, he was very angry with Hooker.
‘I am going to bury* the body,’ said Hooker.
‘Leave it!’ Evans said and he put more gold onto the shirt. ‘Help me carry this; forget about the body.’
Hooker still looked at the body. ‘He is so similar to*…’
‘Don’t be stupid,’ said Evans. ‘It is not him. Now, do you want the gold or not?’
Hooker didn’t hear Evans. The face of the dead Chinaman reminded* him of Chang-Li’s. ‘But his face and his mouth… is he smiling?’ Hooker looked around the forest and up at the trees. He looked at the big white flowers. He looked back at the body. He felt cold in the warm forest, and he felt very far away from home.
‘What’s the matter with you?’ Evans asked.
Suddenly, Hooker jumped into the hole. ‘Nothing! Let’s get the treasure out of this hole and then we can go home.’
‘Good!’ said Evans. He smiled. But then he put his hand on his forehead*. ‘I don’t feel well. My arms and neck hurt.’
‘Perhaps it’s the heat,’ said Hooker.
‘Perhaps,’ said Evans. After a minute, Hooker took his hand away from his forehead. Then together the two men pulled the shirt with the gold on it out of the hole.
When the gold was out of the hole, Hooker looked at Evans. ‘Do you want to go to the boat or bury the gold on the island?’ he asked.
‘To the boat,’ said Evans.
They picked up the gold and began to walk. But the gold was very heavy.
‘Stop!’ said Evans after a few minutes. ‘I must rest*.’
They put down the gold, and Evans sat down. His face was white and sweat* ran down it. ‘It is too warm in this forest,’ he said; and then suddenly with much anger: ‘Come on, Hooker, let’s go!’ He stood up quickly. ‘Come on!’ he said again, and they began carrying the shirt with the gold in it. They carried it for another minute. But then Evans stopped and dropped the shirt again. This time, some gold fell onto the ground.
‘What is the matter?’ Hooker asked.
Evans looked but said nothing. Rivers of sweat ran silently down his face.
‘Are you okay?’ Hooker asked and went towards his friend.
‘Don’t come near me!’ Evans cried and went and stood against a tree.
Again Hooker went to help his friend.
‘Don’t touch me,’ Evans said in a quiet voice. ‘Put the gold back on the shirt.’
‘What’s the matter?’ Hooker asked, afraid.
‘Put the gold back on the shirt and let’s go,’ said Evans.
Adapted by eflshorts.com
bury – put under the ground
similar to – alike, not different
reminded – made you think about again, helped remember
forehead – front part of the head above the eyes
rest – not work, not move, relax
sweat – liquid that helps cool our bodies