A level 3 Oxford Bookworms Library graded readers. Written for Learners of English by Tim Vicary.
Terrorists blow up the Queen’s coach outside Parliament. The Queen escapes, but five people are killed, and forty others badly hurt – ordinary, innocent people, like Alan Cole, the Queen’s coachman, who loses his leg in the bombing. And for Alan and his daughter Jane there is more terror to come, in the search for the truth behind the bombing. Will the terrorists be caught and brought to justice?
But what kind of justice? What can give Alan Cole his leg back, or give life back to people who have been blown to pieces by a bomb?
There were people everywhere, trying to take photos. Jane saw a woman with red-brown hair behind the American man, pressing the button of her camera. That’s stupid, Jane thought; she can only see the backs of people’s heads there. The woman shook her camera angrily; there seemed to be something wrong with it. The American woman pulled Jane forward, laughing happily. ‘Come on,’ she said, ‘let’s get to the front! Use that video, Harry!’
Alan Cole stopped the coach outside Parliament, and sat there, quietly holding the horses. A man opened the coach door, and Prince Charles and the Duke of Edinburgh got out. Then the Queen got out. She was wearing a long white dress, and carrying a gold handbag. She walked slowly towards the entrance to the building.
‘Excuse me, please,’ the woman with red-brown hair said. ‘I must get closer.’ She pushed past Jane and held out her small black camera.
‘Oh, all right,’ Jane said. ‘But … my God!’
There was a loud BANG! Jane saw a bright white light in front of her eyes, and felt a terrible hot wind on her face. The wind threw her backwards, and she fell to the ground with a lot of other people. For a moment she lay there, not thinking, not seeing.
Her eyes were open but she saw nothing. Only … blue sky. She heard nothing. Only … silence. Her body felt no pain. But she could smell something. Smoke.