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Tổ Tiếng Anh

Cập nhật lúc : 22:06 05/03/2013  


                              Beer and Cigarettes

Some of my students know I’m an amateur detective. Before I became a university professor five years ago, I had a real job. I worked for a security agency that protected private homes, and also important people like famous actors and politicians. I learned a lot about criminals. I had also learned a lot about police work from my father, who was a cop for 34 years.

I had wanted to become a police officer, too. But that was impossible. I got into some trouble when I was a kid. It was a stupid high school trick, but because I was 18-years-old, I was treated like an adult. I was arrested by the police, convicted, and now I have a police record. With a criminal record, I can never be a cop.

I worked for awhile as a bodyguard. One of my cases was protecting a famous history professor. He and I became friends, he helped me go to college and now I, too, am a professor.

As I said, when Anne came to see me this morning, I told her I would be happy to help. We came over to the apartment building where Sarah and Bill live, and that’s when this mysterious man tried to stop us from going in.

“Let’s see if we can get into their apartment and take a look around,” I suggested.

We walked into the large, white building, and up to the third floor. Anne got an extra key from the apartment manager so we could go in.

“Apartment number 306, Anne?” I asked her.

“Yes. Here’s the key,” she answered.

“Let me open the door.” I took the key from her. I opened the door very slowly. One thing I learned from my work as a bodyguard: Be careful when opening a stranger’s door. You never know what’s behind it.
I opened the door slowly. I went in first, making sure everything was okay before Anne followed. The living room was large and full of expensive things: a big-screen television, a fancy stereo, a CD player, two big, brown leather chairs, and a comfortable-looking sofa. The living room alone was bigger than my entire apartment.

“My God, it smells like beer and cigarettes in here! Bill and Sarah don’t even smoke,” Anne said.

I walked to the back of the apartment, and saw myself in the mirror. I am always surprised at how I look: I’m 42 years old, five feet eleven inches tall, blond hair, average weight. But when I see myself in the mirror, I look 3 inches shorter and 5 years older.

I checked the windows and the closets on each side of the apartment, and went into the bathroom. Then I saw something move.

I quickly turned to Anne and put my hand up in the air, meaning: “Don’t move.” I put my finger to my lips, telling her to be quiet.

Someone was in the bathroom.

                                   The Man in the Mask

I didn’t kill him.

I didn’t even plan to kill him. I had a gun, but I just wanted to hurt him and stop him from attacking me. I had no idea why this stranger was hitting me, and it was ticking me off.

This morning Anne Prado, one of my students at the University of Southwestern California, came to my office. She said she had a problem and she needed my help. Her sister, Sarah, was missing. We were on our way to Sarah's apartment to find her, when halfway up the front steps of the building, a man ran toward me and started punching me.

I hit the man in the ear. He screamed with pain. He was small, but a tough son-of-a-gun. I stepped back, and hit him hard in the stomach.

“Oh my God!” he moaned. I think I hurt him that time.

I knew he was in pain. I pushed him down to the ground. He fell onto the grass in front of the steps to the apartment building. Now it was my turn to take control.

I stood over him and asked, “Who are you? What do you want?” He didn’t answer. He had a ski hat on, so I couldn’t see his face.

“Just get the hell away from this apartment building! You’re not welcome here!” he said.

I grabbed him by the shirt, pushed his face into the ground, and put his arm behind his back. He yelled even louder now. I think he was finally ready to stop fighting.

“Now, who are you? Why can’t I go inside the apartment?” I was getting angry and wanted some answers. I saw a few people come out of the apartment building to see what was happening.

But the man still didn’t say a word. He lifted himself up suddenly, and pushed me away. He looked at me coldly for a second, then ran into the street.

I turned to find Anne to make sure she was okay. “Do you know who he was? Have you seen him before?” I asked.

“No, Dr. Reeves. I don’t come to my sister’s apartment very often. I don’t know who he is.”

Let me back up a minute: This morning in my office Anne had explained that two days ago, she was supposed to have lunch with her sister, Sarah Salas. When her sister didn’t come to the restaurant, Anne called Sarah’s apartment. There was no answer.

Anne went to her sister’s apartment right away and knocked on the door, but there was no one home. She called Sarah’s work. Her boss told Anne that Sarah had been missing for two days. So Anne decided to ask me to help find her sister and her sister’s husband, Bill, who was also missing.