Chemical Secret, Tim Vicary
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Tim Vicary

Chemical Secret

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A level 3 Oxford Bookworms Library graded readers. Written for Learners of English by Tim Vicary.

The job was too good. There had to be a problem – and there was.

John Duncan was an honest man, but he needed money. He had children to look after. He was ready to do anything, and his bosses knew it.

They gave him the job because he couldn’t say no; he couldn’t afford to be honest. And the job was like a poison inside him. It changed him and blinded him, so that he couldn’t see the real poison – until it was too late.
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‘Mr Duncan? Come in please. Mr Wilson will see you now.’

‘Thank you.’ John Duncan stood up and walked nervously towards the door. He was a tall, thin man, about forty-five years old, in an old grey suit. It was his best suit, but it was ten years old now. He had grey hair and glasses. His face looked sad and tired.

Inside the room, a man stood up to welcome him. ‘Mr Duncan? Pleased to meet you. My name’s David Wilson. This is one of our chemists, Mary Carter.’

John Duncan shook hands with both of them, and sat down. It was a big office, with a thick carpet on the floor and beautiful pictures on the walls. David Wilson was a young man, in an expensive black suit. He had a big gold ring on one finger. He smiled at John.

‘I asked Miss Carter to come because she’s one of our best chemists. She discovered our wonderful new paint, in fact. When … I mean, if you come to work here, you will work with her.’

‘Oh, I see.’ John looked at Mary. She was older than Wilson – about thirty-five, perhaps – with short brown hair, and a pretty, friendly face. She was wearing a white coat with a lot of pens in the top pocket. She smiled at him kindly, but John felt miserable.

I’ll never get this job, he thought. I’m too old! Employers want younger people these days.

M. Duncan ? Entrez, s'il vous plaît. M. Wilson va vous recevoir.

"Merci. John Duncan se leva et marcha nerveusement vers la porte. C'était un homme grand et mince, âgé d'environ quarante-cinq ans, vêtu d'un vieux costume gris. C'était son meilleur costume, mais il avait dix ans maintenant. Il avait les cheveux gris et des lunettes. Son visage avait l'air triste et fatigué.

A l'intérieur de la pièce, un homme se leva pour l'accueillir. M. Duncan ? Enchanté de vous rencontrer. Je m'appelle David Wilson. C'est une de nos chimistes, Mary Carter.

John Duncan leur serra la main et s'assit. C'était un grand bureau, avec un tapis épais sur le sol et de belles photos sur les murs. David Wilson était un jeune homme, dans un costume noir très cher. Il avait une grosse bague en or à un doigt. Il sourit à John.

J'ai demandé à Mlle Carter de venir parce que c'est l'une de nos meilleures chimistes. Elle a découvert notre merveilleuse nouvelle peinture, en fait. Quand... je veux dire, si tu viens travailler ici, tu travailleras avec elle.

"Oh, je vois. Jean regarda Marie. Elle était plus âgée que Wilson - environ trente-cinq ans, peut-être - avec les cheveux bruns courts, et un joli visage amical. Elle portait une blouse blanche avec beaucoup de stylos dans la poche supérieure. Elle lui sourit gentiment, mais John se sentait malheureux.

Je n'aurai jamais ce travail, pensa-t-il. Je suis trop vieux ! Les employeurs veulent des gens plus jeunes de nos jours.

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