In another part of the forest, Maximus, the palace guard horse, was still eagerly (急切地) sniffing (嗅) the ground for Flynn Rider. Furious about losing Flynn, he saw one of Flynn’s wanted posters. In a frenzy (在狂乱中), Maximus ripped it from the tree with his teeth and shredded (撕碎) it into tiny bits. Maximus was not used to failing (失败) in a chase. And he definitely was not going to fail in this one. He had nothing but (只有) disdain (鄙视) for that cocky (狂妄的) thief, and he couldn’t stand (忍受) the thought that the man had evaded (逃脱) him.
Maximus knew that he was considered the best horse in the royal guard. He had helped his humans win awards (奖励), promotions (升职), and bonuses (奖金). And all that he asked for in return (作为回报) was a warm stable (马厩), some hay (草料), and maybe a few oats (燕麦) every day.
But this was different. When it came to this conniving (狡诈的), disrespectful (无礼的) thief, Maximus had reached his limit. He wanted to apprehend (逮捕) Flynn Rider himself!
Maximus sniffed the air, trying to pick up the scoundrel (恶棍)’s scent (气味). He looked for the puny (小于一般尺寸的) footprints left by the puny man who barely made an imprint (痕迹) in the soil (泥土). Maximus knew— he knew—he would find those prints, however small, and track down (追捕到) Flynn Rider.
Suddenly, his ears perked up (竖起来). There was a rustling (沙沙声) in the bushes. Aha! The horse hid behind a large green bush, ready to catch that man. A figure (人影), dark and shadowy, approached. When the figure got just close enough, he leaped out to confront (面对) it. But it wasn’t Flynn he found. He was face to face with (与…面对面) Mother Gothel!
Who is she? Maximus wondered.
Mother Gothel was wondering the same thing about the horse. Startled (大吃一惊的) at first, she quickly noticed the kingdom’s emblem (徽章) on the horse’s bridle (马笼头).
“A palace horse?” she mumbled to herself. “Where is your rider?” The palace guards rarely came around this area of the forest, not since—
“Oh, no,” Mother Gothel gasped. “Rapunzel!”
There was no other explanation (解释). The horse’s rider must have been searching for Rapunzel. That was the only reason for any royal guard to be in this part of the forest. What if (倘若…会怎样) he had found the tunnel into the valley, leaving the horse outside?
In a panic, Mother Gothel turned and ran back toward the tower. When she got there, she called out, “Rapunzel? Rapunzel! Let down your hair!” But no one answered.
She ran to the back of the tower. Long ago, she had used this entrance (入口). But once Rapunzel’s hair had grown long enough for Mother Gothel to use it as a way of entering and exiting the tower, she had closed off the door, with bricks and mortar (灰泥). Now, she ripped at the branches that had grown over the door and uncovered (露出) the hidden entrance.
At least no one got in this way, she thought as she began prying away (撬开) the bricks with her bare hands (徒手), until she could open the door behind the wall she had built.
Climbing a secret staircase, Mother Gothel burst through (推开) a door hidden in the floor. She looked around the tower. It was just as she feared. The tower was empty.
In a fury (暴怒), Mother Gothel ransacked (彻底搜查) the tower. Rapunzel couldn’t leave. She had raised the child! Rapunzel believed everything Mother Gothel had told her. All that work nurturing (培育) her precious flower, the child with the magical hair—had it all been for naught (全是徒劳)?
“Rapunzel!” she called out desperately. Then she saw a glint (闪光) of something under the stairs. She moved toward it, walking up a few steps, and a board creaked under her foot.
Mother Gothel ripped the board away and found a satchel hidden underneath. She pulled it out and looked inside. Much to her horror (令她非常惊恐的是), she found a crown inside. The crown of the lost princess! Then she saw the wanted poster with Flynn Rider’s picture on it.
Mother Gothel wasted no time. She grabbed a dagger (匕首) and the satchel and quickly left the empty tower.