The Prisoner of Zenda
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| 1 The Rassendylls-and the Elphbergs
'I wonder when you're going to do something useful， Rudolf，'my brother's wife said．She looked at me crossly over the breakfast table．
'But why should I do anything，Rose？'I answered，calmly eating my egg．'I've got nearly enough money for the things I want，and my brother，Robert，is a lord-Lord Burlesdon．I'm very happy．'
'You're twenty-nine，and you've done nothing except…'
'Play about？It's true．We Rassendylls are a rich and famous family，and we don't need to do anything．'
This made Rose angry．'Rich and famous families usually behave worse than less important families，'she said．
When I heard this，I touched my dark red hair．I knew what she meant．
'I'm so pleased that Robert's hair is black！'she cried．
Just then my brother，Robert，came in．When he looked at Rose，he could see that there was something wrong．
'What's the matter，my dear？'he said．
'Oh，she's angry because I never do anything useful，and because I've got red hair，'I said．
'Well，I know he can't do much about his hair，or his nose…'Rose began．
'No，the nose and the hair are in the family，'my brother agreed．'And Rudolf has both of them．'
In the room there were many family pictures，and one of them was of a very beautiful woman，Lady Amelia，who lived a hundred and fifty years ago．I stood up and turned to look at it．
'If you took that picture away，Robert，'Rose cried，'we could forget all about it．'
'Oh，but I don't want to forget about it，'I replied．'I like being an Elphberg．'
But perhaps I should stop for a moment and explain why Rose was angry about my nose and my hair and why I，a Rassendyll，said I was an Elphberg．After all，the Elphbergs are the royal family of Ruritania，and have been for hundreds of years．
The story is told in a book about the Rassendyll family history．
In the year 1733 Prince Rudolf of Ruritania came to England on a visit and he stayed for several months．Like many of the Elphberg royal family，he had blue eyes，an unusually long straight nose and a lot of dark red hair．He was also tall and very good-looking．
During his stay here，he became friendly with Lady Amelia，the beautiful wife of Lord Burlesdon．They became very good friends indeed，which，naturally，did not please Lord Burlesdon．So，one cold wet morning，the two men fought．The Prince was hurt in the fight，but got better and was hurried back to Ruritania．There he married and became King Rudolf the Third．But Lord Burlesdon fell ill，and six months later he died．Two months after that，Lady Amelia had a baby son，who became the next Lord Burlesdon and the head of the Rassendyll family．The boy grew into a man with blue eyes，a long straight nose，and dark red hair．
These things can happen in the best of families，and among the many pictures of the Rassendylls at home，you can see that five or six of them have the same blue eyes，the same nose，and the same red hair．
So，because my hair was red and I had the Elphberg nose，Rose worried about me．In the end，to please her，I promised to get a job in six months time．This gave me six free months to enjoy myself first．
And an idea came to me．I would visit Ruritania．None of my family had ever been there．They preferred to forget all about the Lady Amelia．But I saw in the newspaper that，in three weeks，the new young King，Rudolf the Fifth，would have his coronation．It would be an interesting time to visit the country．
I knew my family would not like my going，so I told them I was going walking in Austria．
| 1 拉森狄尔家族与艾尔弗伯格家族
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