en-fr  Smith - Chapter I
Chapitre I. Il se nommait Smith, et il avait douze ans.
Ça vous surprend ? Il était chanceux bien sûr.
C'était un voleur à la tire, et les jeunes pickpockets à Londres n'atteignaient généralement pas cet âge.
Bien de choses les menaçaient.
Ils tombaient malades et mouraient.
Ou ils n'étaient pas assez rapides... et périssaient.
Les hommes du roi essayaient d'arrêter les escamoteurs et de les pendre.
Mais Smith avait de la veine.
Ils n'arrivaient pas l'attraper, et donc, pas à le pendre.
Il était trop rapide.

Les rues de Londres étaient étroites et sombres.
Smith les connaissait bien et se déplaçait rapidement et discrètement.
Il pouvait vider la poche d'un homme riche en une fraction de seconde.

Son endroit préféré était Ludgate Hill.
C'était une rue très fréquentée.
Les voitures arrivaient par le haut.
Elles venaient des côtés.
Et rapidement, personne ne pouvait plus circuler.
Les conducteurs se mettaient en colère et criaient.
Mais ça ne servait à rien.
La plupart d'entre eux quittaient leurs voitures et allaient à pied.
— Nous irons plus vite à pied, disaient-ils.

Smith attendait les riches messieurs de Ludgate Hill.

Il était là par un matin froid du 17 décembre.
Un vieux gentleman laissa sa voiture et monta la côte.
Smith pensa qu'il était de la campagne.
Les vastes poches de son mateau n'étaient pas comme celles d'un citadin.
Smith riait silencieusement et suivit le vieux gentleman comme son ombre.

L'homme cherchait le chemin d'un bureau.
Il tourna dans Godliman Street.
L'ombre de Smith se tenait juste derrière lui.
Les bâtiments étaient grands et sombres.
Une ou deux fois le vieil homme s'arrêta et palpa dans une poche.
Smith nota bien de quelle poche il s'agissait.

Soudain le vieil homme se souvint de l'endroit et tourna dans Curits Court.
Smith la connaissait bien.
La cour avait des bureaux sur trois de ses côtés.
Il y avait trois portes mais seulement une fenêtre.

Smith de déplaça rapidement.
Son ombre passa devant le vieil homme.
Le gentleman ne la vit pas mais sentit seulement un courant d'air froid.
L'instant d'après Smith courait depuis une embrasure de porte, directement dans le vieil homme.

— Désolé, monsieur ! — Désolé, cria-t-il.

Ils bougèrent de gauche à droite puis à nouveau à gauche.
La main de Smith toucha le manteau du vieil homme.
— Où allez-vous, mon garçon ? cria-t-il.
Le cri vint trop tard pour être utile.
Sa poche était déjà vide.

Smith s'arrêta.
Des bruits de pas arrivaient dans Curtis Court.
Impossible pour lui de s'enfuir ! Il retourna dans l'entrée.
Deux hommes en costume brun apparurent, et Smith connaissait leur nature.
Ils agirent en un éclair.
Ils maintinrent les bras du vieil homme et enfoncèrent une longue lame froide dans son cœur chaud.
Ensemble, ils tirèrent le corps dans l'obscurité et lui vidèrent les poches.
Smith était pétrifié.
Il n'aimait pas les cadavres.

— Il ne l'a pas, dit une voix.
Ce n'est pas ici.

Il y eut un nouveau bruit dans Curtis Court.
Un boiteux marchait avec une canne.
Smith reconnaissait ça aux sons.
Il ne pouvait voir l'homme, mais il était effrayé.

— Il ne l'a pas, monsieur, dit le tueur.

— Il doit l'avoir, dit le boiteux.
Il s'exprimait avec la voix délicate d'un gentleman.
Regardez encore !

— Nous l'avons bien fouillé, monsieur.
Ce n'est pas ici.

— Cherchez encore ! Encore ! Ça doit être là.

— Nous ne pouvons pas rester là, monsieur ! Ils nous pendront, s'ils nous attrapent
Cherchez-le vous-même.
On s'en va.
Vite ! Vite ! Des gens arrivent.

Smith entendit à nouveau les pas des tueurs et la canne du boiteux.
Puis la cour fut silencieuse pendant un moment, mais Smith ne bougea pas.
Il entendit des voix et des hommes apparurent par la rue Godliman.
Une douzaine de personnes se tinrent bientôt autour du corps du vieil homme.

Mais les gens ne venaient pas des bureaux dans la cour.

Smith abandonna la place et sortit en marchant.
Il dit quelques mots aux gens.
Puis se faufila entre eux comme une lame.
Il était dans la Goldman Street... et libre !

À cet instant une porte s'ouvrit dans la cour.
C'était la porte à côté de la fenêtre.
Un homme quitta tranquillement le bureau.

Smith courut une quinzaine de minutes et s'immobilisa.
Il fouilla dans sa vieille veste.
— Q'est-ce que j'ai trouvé cette fois ? se dit-il.
Le vieux bonhomme est mort pour ça, cela doit avoir une grosse valeur.

Smith la sentit et la sortit.
C'était un document.
Un document?
Smith était très, très en colère.
C'était le meilleur et le pickpocket le plus rapide de tout Londres.
Il pouvait faire beaucoup, mais aujjourd'hui n'était pas un jour de chance.
Parce qu'il ne savait pas lire.
unit 1
Chapter I His name was Smith, and he was twelve years old.
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Are you surprised at that?
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He was lucky of course.
1 Translations, 4 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months, 1 week ago
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He was a pickpocket, and young pickpockets in London didn't usually reach that age.
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A lot of things were against them.
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They got ill and died.
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Or they weren't quick enough—and died.
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The king's men tried to catch pickpockets and hang them.
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But Smith was lucky.
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They couldn't catch him, and so they didn't hang him.
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He was too quick.
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The streets of London were narrow and dark.
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Smith knew them well and moved about quickly and quietly.
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He could empty a rich man's pocket in a moment.
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His favourite place was Ludgate Hill.
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It was a very busy street.
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Carriages came into it from the top.
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They came in from the sides.
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And soon none could move.
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The drivers got angry and shouted.
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But that didn't help them.
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Many people just left their carriages and walked.
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"We'll be quicker if we walk," they said.
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Smith waited for the rich men at Ludgate Hill.
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He was there on a cold morning in December 17–.
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An old gentleman left his carriage and walked up the hill.
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Smith thought that he was from the country.
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The wide pockets of his coat were not like a city man's pockets.
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Smith laughed quietly and followed the old gentleman like a shadow.
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The gentleman was looking for the way to an office.
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He turned into Godliman Street.
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Smith's shadow stayed just behind him.
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The buildings were tall and dark.
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Once or twice the old man stopped and felt in a pocket.
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Smith noticed that pocket.
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Suddenly the old man remembered the place and turned into Curtis Court.
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Smith knew it well.
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The court had offices on its three sides.
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There were three doors but only one window.
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Smith moved quickly.
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His shadow went past the old man.
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The gentleman didn't see it but just felt a cold wind.
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The next moment Smith ran from a doorway, straight into the old man.
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"Sorry, sir!
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Sorry–" he cried.
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They moved left, right, left.
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Smith's hand touched the old man's coat.
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"Where are you going, boy?"
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he shouted.
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The shout was too late to help.
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His pocket was already empty.
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Smith stopped.
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The sounds of feet came into Curtis Court.
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He couldn't run out of the place!
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He went back into the doorway.
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Two men in brown suits appeared, and Smith knew their kind.
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They worked very quickly.
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They held the old man's arms and pushed a long, cold knife into his warm heart.
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Together they pulled the body into the shadows and emptied the pockets.
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Smith was afraid.
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He didn't like dead bodies.
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"He hasn't got it," a voice said.
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"It isn't here."
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There was a new sound in Curtis Court.
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A lame man was walking with a stick.
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Smith knew that from the sounds.
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He couldn't see the man, but he was afraid.
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"He hasn't got it, sir," the killer said.
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"He must have it," the lame man said.
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He spoke with the soft voice of a gentleman.
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"Look again!"
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"We've looked, sir.
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It isn't here."
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"Look again!
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Again!
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It must be there."
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"We can't stay, sir!
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They'll hang us it they catch us.
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Look for it yourself.
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We're going.
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Quick!
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Quick!
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People are coming."
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Smith heard the killers' feet again, and the lame man's stick.
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Then the court was quiet for a moment, but Smith didn't move.
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He heard voices, and men appeared from Godliman Street.
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A dozen people were soon standing round the old man's body.
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But people did not come from the offices in the court.
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Smith left his place and walked outside.
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He said a few words to the people.
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Then he went straight between them, like a knife.
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He was in Godliman Street—and free!
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Just then a door opened in the court.
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It was the door beside the window.
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A man left the office quietly.
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Smith ran for fifteen minutes and then rested.
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He felt inside his old coat.
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"What have I got this time?"
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he said to himself.
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"The old man died for it, and so it must have great value."
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Smith felt about and pulled it out.
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It was a document.
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A document?
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Smith was very, very angry.
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He was the best and the quickest pickpocket in London.
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He could do many things, but today wasn't his lucky day.
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Because he couldn't read.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months, 2 weeks ago
tontonjl • 10803  translated  unit 99  7 months, 2 weeks ago
Gabrielle • 13906  translated  unit 82  7 months, 2 weeks ago
Gabrielle • 13906  translated  unit 81  7 months, 2 weeks ago
Gabrielle • 13906  translated  unit 75  7 months, 2 weeks ago

Chapter I

His name was Smith, and he was twelve years old.
Are you surprised at that? He was lucky of course.
He was a pickpocket, and young pickpockets in London didn't usually reach that age.
A lot of things were against them.
They got ill and died.
Or they weren't quick enough—and died.
The king's men tried to catch pickpockets and hang them.
But Smith was lucky.
They couldn't catch him, and so they didn't hang him.
He was too quick.

The streets of London were narrow and dark.
Smith knew them well and moved about quickly and quietly.
He could empty a rich man's pocket in a moment.

His favourite place was Ludgate Hill.
It was a very busy street.
Carriages came into it from the top.
They came in from the sides.
And soon none could move.
The drivers got angry and shouted.
But that didn't help them.
Many people just left their carriages and walked.
"We'll be quicker if we walk," they said.

Smith waited for the rich men at Ludgate Hill.

He was there on a cold morning in December 17–.
An old gentleman left his carriage and walked up the hill.
Smith thought that he was from the country.
The wide pockets of his coat were not like a city man's pockets.
Smith laughed quietly and followed the old gentleman like a shadow.

The gentleman was looking for the way to an office.
He turned into Godliman Street.
Smith's shadow stayed just behind him.
The buildings were tall and dark.
Once or twice the old man stopped and felt in a pocket.
Smith noticed that pocket.

Suddenly the old man remembered the place and turned into Curtis Court.
Smith knew it well.
The court had offices on its three sides.
There were three doors but only one window.

Smith moved quickly.
His shadow went past the old man.
The gentleman didn't see it but just felt a cold wind.
The next moment Smith ran from a doorway, straight into the old man.

"Sorry, sir! Sorry–" he cried.

They moved left, right, left.
Smith's hand touched the old man's coat.
"Where are you going, boy?" he shouted.
The shout was too late to help.
His pocket was already empty.

Smith stopped.
The sounds of feet came into Curtis Court.
He couldn't run out of the place! He went back into the doorway.
Two men in brown suits appeared, and Smith knew their kind.
They worked very quickly.
They held the old man's arms and pushed a long, cold knife into his warm heart.
Together they pulled the body into the shadows and emptied the pockets.
Smith was afraid.
He didn't like dead bodies.

"He hasn't got it," a voice said.
"It isn't here."

There was a new sound in Curtis Court.
A lame man was walking with a stick.
Smith knew that from the sounds.
He couldn't see the man, but he was afraid.

"He hasn't got it, sir," the killer said.

"He must have it," the lame man said.
He spoke with the soft voice of a gentleman.
"Look again!"

"We've looked, sir.
It isn't here."

"Look again! Again! It must be there."

"We can't stay, sir! They'll hang us it they catch us.
Look for it yourself.
We're going.
Quick! Quick! People are coming."

Smith heard the killers' feet again, and the lame man's stick.
Then the court was quiet for a moment, but Smith didn't move.
He heard voices, and men appeared from Godliman Street.
A dozen people were soon standing round the old man's body.

But people did not come from the offices in the court.

Smith left his place and walked outside.
He said a few words to the people.
Then he went straight between them, like a knife.
He was in Godliman Street—and free!

Just then a door opened in the court.
It was the door beside the window.
A man left the office quietly.

Smith ran for fifteen minutes and then rested.
He felt inside his old coat.
"What have I got this time?" he said to himself.
"The old man died for it, and so it must have great value."

Smith felt about and pulled it out.
It was a document.
A document?
Smith was very, very angry.
He was the best and the quickest pickpocket in London.
He could do many things, but today wasn't his lucky day.
Because he couldn't read.