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乐天堂国际英语精读第一册08

Unit Eight

Click the button to listen to the text

A young boy faces the impossible task of trying to

soften the blow of tragic news.

YOU GO YOUR WAY, I'LL GO MINE

The messenger got off his bicycle in front of the house of Mrs. Rosa

Sandoval. He went to the door and knocked gently. He knew almost imme-

diately that someone was inside the house. He could not hear anything, but

he was sure the knock was bringing someone to the door and he was most

eager to see who this person would be--this woman named Rosa Sandoval

who was now to hear of murder in the world and to feel it in herself. The

door was not a long time opening, but there was no hurry in the way it

moved on its hinges. The movement of the door was as if, whoever she

was, she had nothing in the world to fear. Then the door was open,

and there she was.

To Homer the Mexican woman was beautiful. He could see that

she had been patient all her life, so that now, after years of it,

her lips were set in a gentle and saintly smile. But like all

people who never receive telegrams the appearance of a messenger at

the front door is full of terrible implications. Homer knew that

Mrs. Rosa Sandoval was shocked to see him . Her first word

was the first word of all surprise. She said" Oh," as if instead of a messen-

ger she had thought of opening the door to someone she had known a long

time and would be pleased to sit down with. Before she spoke again she

studied Homer's eyes and Homer knew that she knew the message was not

a welcome one.

"You have a telegram?" she said.

It wasn't Homer's fault. His work was to deliver telegrams. Even so ,

it seemed to him that he was part of the whole mistake. He felt awkward

and almost as if he alone were responsible for what had happened. At the

same time he wanted to come right out and say, "I'm only a messenger,

Mrs. Sandoval. I'm very sorry I must bring you a telegram like this, but it

is only because it is my work to do so. "

"Who is it for?" the Mexican woman said.

"Mrs. Rosa Sandoval, 1129 G Street," Homer said. He extended the

telegram to the Mexican woman, but she would not touch it.

"Are you Mrs. Sandoval?" Homer said.

"Please," the woman said. " Please come in. I cannot read English. I

am Mexican. I read only La Prensa which comes from Mexico City." She

paused a moment and looked at the boy standing awkwardly as near the

door as he could be and still be inside the house.

"Please, " she said, "what does the telegram say?"

"Mrs. Sandoval, " the messenger said, "the telegram says-"

But now the woman interrupted him. " But you must open the tele-

45 gram and read it to me, " she said. " You have not opened it. "

"Yes, ma' am, " Homer said as if he were speaking to a school teacher

who had just corrected him.

He opened the telegram with nervous fingers. The Mexican woman

stooped to pick up the torn envelope, and tried to smooth it out. As she did

so she said, "Who sent the telegram - my son Juan Domingo?"

"No, ma' am. " Homer said. "The telegram is from the War Depart-

ment. "

"War Department?" the Mexican woman said.

"Mrs. Sandoval," Homer said swiftly, "your son is dead. Maybe it's a

mistake. Everybody makes a mistake, Mrs. Sandoval. Maybe it wasn't

your son Maybe it was somebody else. The telegram says it was Juan

Domingo. But maybe the telegram is wrong."

The Mexican woman pretended not to hear.

"Oh, do not be afraid," she said. "Come inside. Come inside. I will

60 bring you candy." She took the boy's arm and brought him to the table at

the center of the room and there she made him sit.

"All boys like candy," she said. "I will bring you candy." She went

into another room and soon returned with an old chocolate candy box. She

opened the box at the table and in it Homer saw a strange kind of candy.

"Here, " she said. "Eat this candy. All boys like candy. "

Homer took a piece of the candy from the box, put it into his mouth,

and tried to chew.

"You would not bring me a bad telegram, " she said. "You are a good

boy--like my little Juanito when he was a little boy. Eat another piece."

And she made the messenger take another piece of the candy.

Homer sat chewing the dry candy while the Mexican woman talked.

"It is our own candy," she said, "from cactus. I made it for my Juanito

when he come home, but you eat it. You are my boy, too. "

Now suddenly she began to sob, holding herself in as if weeping were a

disgrace. Homer wanted to get up and run, but he knew he would stay. He

even thought he might stay the rest of his life. He just didn't know what

else to do to try to make the woman less unhappy ,and if she had asked him

to take the place of her son, he would not have been able to refuse, because

he would not have known how. He got to his feet, as if by standing he

meant to begin correcting what could not be corrected and then he knew the

foolishness of this intention and became more awkward than ever. In his

heart he was saying over and over again, "What can I do? What the hell

can I do? I'm only the messenger. "

第八单元

爱莫能助

送电报的在罗莎桑多瓦尔太太的房子前面下了自行车。他走到门前,轻轻敲了敲门。他几乎立即就觉察到房子里面有人。他听不到什么动静,但他肯定敲门声正在把一个人召唤到门口来,他很急切地想看看来者是什么人——这个就要听到人世间的残杀并将在内心感受到其痛苦的名叫罗莎桑多瓦尔的妇人。不一会儿,门开了,但门在铰链上转动时慢慢悠悠,不慌不忙,门的转运似乎表明,不管来开门的是什么人,她在世界上没有什么可以怕的事情。接着门全部打开了,而她就站在那儿。

在霍默看来,这位墨西哥妇人是很美的。他看得出,她一生都很有耐心,经过多年的忍耐以后,现在她的嘴边总挂着一丝温柔、圣洁的微笑。但是正像所有从未收到过电报的人一样,送电报的人出现在前门,她便预感到凶多吉少。霍默知道,罗莎桑多瓦尔太太看到他大吃了一惊。她说的第一个字就是人们在极度惊恐时首先出口的那个字。她“哦”了一声,仿佛她原以为开门迎接的不该是一个送电报的,而应该是她相识已久并愿与之促膝交谈的某个人。在她再次开口之前,她仔细观察了霍默的眼神。霍默知道,她已经明白,这份电报是份不受欢迎的电报。

“有电报?”她问。

这不是霍默的过错。他的工作就是送电报。即使这样,他还是觉得自己似乎也是整个错误的一部分。他感到很尴尬,仿佛唯独他要对发生的一切负责。同时,他想直截了当地说:“我只是个送电报的,桑多瓦尔太太。我很抱歉一定要把这样一份电报给你送来,但这只是因为我的工作就是送电报。”

“谁的电报?”墨西哥妇人问。

“G街1129号罗莎桑多瓦尔太太的。”霍默说。他把电报递给墨西哥妇人,可她不肯接。

“您是桑多瓦尔太太吗?”霍默问。

“请进,”妇人说。“请进来。我不懂英文。我是墨西哥人。我只看从墨西哥城来的《乐天堂国际_乐天堂国际娱乐官网_乐天堂国际娱乐_乐天堂国际娱乐乐天堂国际娱乐报》。她停了一会儿,看了看那个男孩,只见他尽量靠近门口站,但仍让自己立在房内,样子很尴尬。

“请问,”她说,“电报上说些什么?”

“桑多瓦尔太太,”送电报的说。“电报上说——”

但这时妇人打断了他的话。“但是你得拆开电报,念给我听,”她说。“你还没有拆开呢。”

“是的,太太,”霍默说。好像他是在对一位刚刚纠正了他的错误的老师讲话一样。

他用颤抖的手指拆开电报。墨西哥妇人弯腰抢起撕破的信封,想把它弄平整。她一边弄一边说,“是谁发来的电报——是我儿子胡安多明戈吗?”

“不是,太太,”霍默说。“电报是陆军部发来的。”

“陆军部?”墨西哥妇人说。

“桑多瓦尔太太,”霍默很快地说,“您的儿子死了。这也许是弄错了。谁都会出差错的,桑多瓦尔太太。也许不是您的儿子。也许是另一个人,电报上说是胡安多明戈,不过也许是电报弄上错了。

墨西哥妇人假装没听见。

“哦,不要怕,”她说。“到里边来。到里边来。我去给你拿糖。”她拉着男孩的胳膊,把他带到屋子中间的桌子旁边,让他坐下。

“男孩子都喜欢糖,”她说。“我去给你拿糖。”她走进另外一间屋子,很快就拿着一个旧的巧克力糖盒子回来了。她在桌子上打开糖盒子,霍默看见里面有一种奇怪的糖。

“喏,”她说,“吃吃这种糖。男孩子都喜欢吃糖。”

霍默从盒子里拿了一块,放进嘴里,使劲咀嚼起来。

“你不会给我送来不吉利的电报的,”她说。“你是个好孩子——就像我的小胡安尼特小时候那样。再吃一块。”她让送电报的又拿了一块糖。

霍默坐在那儿一边嚼着干糖,一边听着墨西哥妇人讲话。“这是我们自己做的糖,”她说。“用仙人球做的。我做这些糖果等我的胡安尼特回家来吃的,不过你吃吧,你也是我的孩子。”

这时她突然抽噎起来,同时又尽量克制着自己,仿佛哭泣是件丢脸的事。霍默想起来跑掉,但他知道他会留下的。他甚至想到自己也许会一辈子留下不走了。他简直不知道还有什么别的办法可以减轻这位妇人的痛苦。如果她当时要求他代替他的儿子,他也许没法拒绝,因为他不知道该怎样拒绝。他站了起来,好像以此来表明他准备去挽回那无法挽回的事似的。接着他意识到自己的打算愚蠢可笑,变得更加尴尬了。他在心里一遍又一遍地说着:“我有什么办法?我能有什么办法呢?我只不过是个送电报的呀。”

 

Click the button to listen to the pronunciations of new words

New Words

soften v.

(cause to) become soft (er) or gentle

(使)软化; (使)温和

tragic a.

very sad, unfortunate;of or related

to tragedy 悲惨的;悲剧的

messenger n.

a person employed to deliver telegrams,

letters or parcels 送信人;电报投递员

gently ad.

softly 轻轻地

immediately ad.

at once

immediate a.

eager a.

marked by strong interest or impatient

desire 热切的,渴望的

hinge n.

铰链

whoever pron.

no matter who 无论谁,不管谁

saintly a.

like a saint; very holy 像圣徒一样的;圣洁的

implication n.

含义

imply vt.

shock vt.

cause unpleasant or angry surprise to (sb.)

使(某人)震惊

deliver vt.

take (sth.) to the place where it must go

交付,递送

awkward a.

uncomfortable 尴尬的

Mexican n. &a.

墨西哥人;墨西哥(人)的

pause vi.

stop for a short time 暂停,中止

interrupt vt.

stop (sb. speaking) by breaking in 打断

(某人讲话)

nervous a.

神经质的;紧张的

ma'am

madam ( used in direct address )

夫人,太太,小姐

mooth vt.

make smooth or smoother 把...弄平

department n.

部门;系

swiftly ad.

rapidly, quickly 快速的;敏捷地

swift a.

chocolate n.

巧克力(糖)

chew vt.

crush (food) with the teeth

cactus n.

仙人掌 ?

sob vi.

cry with short, quick breaths 啜泣;呜咽

disgrace n.

shame 耻辱;丢脸的人(或事)

unhappy a.

not happy

hell n.

地狱

 

Phrases & Expressions

 

 

hear of

have knowledge of or receive information

about 听到,听说

be responsible for

be the cause of 应对...负责的

come out (with)

speak out 大声的说,清楚的说

smooth out

make smooth(er)

hold oneself in

control one's feelings

take the place of

act or be used instead of , replace 代替,取代

get to one's feet

stand up

over and over again

very often, repeatedly 反复地,再三地  

Proper Names

Rosa Sandoval

罗莎.桑多瓦尔

Homer

霍默

Mexica City

墨西哥城(墨西哥首都)

Juan Domingo

胡安.多明哥

the War Department

(美国)陆军部(旧称)

Juanito

胡安尼特(Juan的呢称)
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