King's ransom

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KING'S RANSOM
Douglas King is rich. A nice house in the best part of the city, servants, big cars, fashionable clothes for his attractive wife, Diane. He's worked hard all his life to get where he is today, and now he's planning a big business deal. It's a very expensive deal, and there are enemies working against King, but if he wins, he'll get to be company president. If he doesn't win, he'llbe out on the street. Sy Barnard and Eddie Folsom are not rich. They're smalltime crooks, not very successful, but they want all the good things that money can buy. So they plan the perfect kidnapping. 'Five hundred thousand dollars by tomorrow morning, or we kill the boy,' they tell Douglas King. It's a beautiful plan. But Eddie's wife, Kathy, doesn't like it, and neither does Detective SteveCarella of the 87th Precinct. And Sy and Eddie have taken the wrong boy — not King's son, but the Reynolds boy, the son of King's chauffeur. And the chauffeur doesn't have five hundred thousand dollars. So who's going to pay the ransom?

OXFORD BOOKWORMS LIBRARY

Crime & Mystery

King's Ransom
Stage 5 (1800 headwords)

Series Editor: Jennifer Bassett Founder Editor: Tricia Hedge ActivitiesEditors: Jennifer Bassett and Alison Baxter

ED M c B A I N

King's Ransom

Retold from the original novel by Rosalie Kerr

OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS

OXFORD
UNIVERSITY PRESS

CONTENTS
STORY INTRODUCTION

i 1

1

'We want your voting stock, Doug'

2

'Why would anyone want to steal radio parts?'

8 12 20 26 37 42 51 57 61 66 73 78 86 88 92 93 96 100 101

3 'Jump downand attack! Take him by surprise!'

4 'We've got your son'
5
Original edition © Ed McBain 1959 First published in the USA by Simon & Schuster 1959 This simplified edition © Oxford University Press 2008 Database right Oxford University Press (maker) First published in Oxford Bookworms 1995

'We've got the wrong kid!' 'I want to talk to you about the ransom'

6 'This little boy is in bigtrouble'

7

8
9

'I'm taking you out of here'
'If you don't pay them, they'll kill him'

10 'You're out and I'm in!'

11
12

'The boy needs a hot drink'
'That five hundred grand has got to be ours!'

13 'Lock him up!'
14 'The case is closed now, but . . . "
GLOSSARY
ISBN 978 0 19 479230 1
A complete recording of this Bookworms edition of King's Ransom is available on audio CDISBN 978 0 19 479208 0

ACTIVITIES: Before Reading ACTIVITIES: While Reading ACTIVITIES: After Reading
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
ABOUT THE BOOKWORMS LIBRARY

Typeset by Wyvern Typesetting Ltd, Bristol Printed in Hong Kong
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

Illustrated by: Mark Thomas

Word count (main text): 22,670 words
For more information on the Oxford Bookworms L i b r a r y visit www.oup.com/elt/bookworms 1
'We want your voting stock, Doug'
Outside the window boats sailed up and down the River Harb. In the clear October air, orange and gold leaves screamed their colour against the cold blue sky. The room was full of cigarette smoke. It hung over the five men like the breath of ghosts. The room was enormous, but it was full now, full of the dirty ash-trays, used glasses and empty

bottles leftat the end of a long and difficult discussion. The men themselves were as exhausted as the smoky air. Tired but determined, the men sitting opposite Douglas King hammered out their argument. King listened to them silently. 'We're asking you to think about profit, Doug, that's all,' George Benjamin said. 'Is that a lot to ask?' 'Think of shoes, yes,' Rudy Stone said. 'Don't forget shoes. But thinkof profit. Granger Shoe is a business, Doug, a business. Profit and loss. The black and the red.' 'And our job,' Benjamin said, 'is to keep Granger in the black. Now take another look at these shoes.' A thin man, he moved fast and silently to a glass table, which was covered with women's shoes. He picked one up from the pile and gave it to King. 'What woman wants to buy a shoe like this?' he...
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