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中学生英语课外阅读:一床双人毛毯

管理员6    时间:2020-02-14 13:48    访问18次 有用[0] 无用[0] 举报
By Floyd Dell

  Floyd Dell, born June 28, 1887, Barry, Ill., U.S. died July 23, 1969, Bethesda, Md. novelist and radical journalist whose fiction examined the changing mores in sex and politics among American bohemians before and after World War I. A precocious poet, Dell grew up in an impoverished family and left high school at age 16 to work in a factory. Moving to Chicago in 1908, he worked as a newspaperman and soon was a leader of the city's advanced literary movement. He became assistant editor of the Friday Literary Review of the Evening Post in 1909 and editor in 1911, making it one of the most noted American literary supplements. As a critic, he furthered the careers of Sherwood Anderson and Theodore Dreiser. A socialist since his youth, he moved to New York in 1914 and was associate editor of the left-wing The Masses until 1917. Dell was on the staff of The Liberator, which succeeded The Masses, from 1918 to 1924. His first and best novel, the largely autobiographical Moon-Calf, appeared in 1920, and its sequel, The Briary-Bush, in 1921. Homecoming, an autobiography taking him to his 35th year, was published in 1933. His other novels on life among the unconventional include Janet March (1923), Runaway (1925), and Love in Greenwich Village (1926). His nonfiction includes Were You Ever a Child? (1919), on child-rearing; the biography Upton Sinclair: A Study in Social Protest (1927); and Love in the Machine Age (1930), which presented his views on sex. Little Accident, a play written with Thomas Mitchell and based on Dell's novel An Unmarried Father (1927), was successfully produced in 1928. Dell joined the Federal Writers Project and moved to Washington, D.C., in the late 1930s as an official for the project. He continued in government work after the project ended, until his retirement in 1947.Petey hadn’t really believed that Dad would be doing It — sending Granddad away. “Away” was what they were calling it.Not until now could he believe it of his father.

  But here was the blanket that Dad had bought for Granddad, and in the morning he’d be going away. This was the last evening they’d be having together. Dad was off seeing that girl he was to marry. He would not be back till late, so Petey and Granddad could sit up and talk.

  It was a fine September night, with a silver moon riding high. They washed up the supper dishes and then took their chairs out onto the porch. “I’ll get my fiddle,” said the old man, “and play you some of the old tunes.”

  But instead of the fiddle he brought out the blanket. It was a big double blanket, red with black stripes.

  “Now, isn’t that a fine blanket!” said the old man, smoothing it over his knees. “And isn’t your father a kind man to be giving the old fellow a blanket like that to go away with? It cost something, it did—look at the wool of it! There’ll be few blankets there the equal of this one!”

  It was like Granddad to be saying that. He was trying to make it easier. He had pretended all along that he wanted to go away to the great brick building—the government place. There he’d be with so many other old fellows, having the best of everything. . . . But Petey hadn’t believed Dad would really do it, not until this night when he brought home the blanket.

  “Oh, yes, it’s a fine blanket,” said Petey. He got up and went into the house. He wasn’t the kind to cry and, besides, he was too old for that. He’d just gone in to fetch Granddad’s fiddle.

  The blanket slid to the floor as the old man took the fiddle and stood up. He tuned up for a minute, and then said, “This is one you’ll like to remember.”

  Petey sat and looked out over the gully. Dad would marry that girl. Yes, that girl who had kissed Petey and fussed over him, saying she’d try to be a good mother to him, and all. . . .

  The tune stopped suddenly. Granddad said, “It’s a fine girl your father’s going to marry. He’ll be feeling young again with a pretty wife like that. And what would an old fellow like me be doing around their house, getting in the way? An old nuisance, what with my talks of aches and pains. It’s best that I go away, like I’m doing. One more tune or two, and then we’ll be going to sleep. I’ll pack up my blanket in the morning.”

  They didn’t hear the two people coming down the path. Dad had one arm around the girl, whose bright face was like a doll’s. But they heard her when she laughed, right close by the porch. Dad didn’t say anything, but the girl came forward and spoke to Granddad prettily: “I won’t be here when you leave in the morning, so I came over to say good-bye.”

  “It’s kind of you,” said Granddad, with his eyes cast down. Then, seeing the blanket at his feet, he stooped to pick it up. “And will you look at this,” he said. “The fine blanket my son has given me to go away with.”

  “Yes,” she said. “It’s a fine blanket.” She felt the wool and repeated in surprise, “A fine blanket—I’ll say it is!” She turned to Dad and said to him coldly, “That blanket really cost something.”

  Dad cleared his throat and said, “I wanted him to have the best. . . .”

  “It’s double, too,” she said, as if accusing Dad.

  “Yes,” said Granddad, “it’s double—a fine blanket for an old fellow to be going away with.”

  17 The boy went suddenly into the house. He was looking for something. He could hear that girl scolding Dad. She realized how much of Dad’s money—her money, really—had gone for the blanket. Dad became angry in his slow way. And now she was suddenly going away in a huff. . . .

  As Petey came out, she turned and called back, “All the same, he doesn’t need a double blanket!” And she ran off up the path.

  Dad was looking after her as if he wasn’t sure what he ought to do.

  “Oh, she’s right,” Petey said. “Here, Dad”—and he held out a pair of scissors. “Cut the blanket in two.”

  Both of them stared at the boy, startled. “Cut it in two, I tell you, Dad!” he cried out. “And keep the other half.”

  “That’s not a bad idea,” said Granddad gently. “I don’t need so much of a blanket.”

  “Yes,” the boy said harshly, “a single blanket’s enough for an old man when he’s sent away. We’ll save the other half, Dad. It’ll come in handy later.”

  “Now what do you mean by that?” asked Dad.

  “I mean,” said the boy slowly, “that I’ll give it to you, Dad— when you’re old and I’m sending you—away.”

  There was a silence. Then Dad went over to Granddad and stood before him, not speaking. But Granddad understood. He put out a hand and laid it on Dad’s shoulder. And he heard Granddad whisper, “It’s all right, son. I knew you didn’t mean it. . . .” And then Petey cried.

  But it didn’t matter—because they were all crying together.

  一床双人毛毯

  (美) 弗罗伊德•戴尔

  晴朗的九月的夜晚,银色的月光洒落在溪谷上。此时,十一岁的彼得没有观赏月亮,也没感觉到微微的凉风吹进厨房。他的思绪全在厨房桌上那条红黑相间的毛毯上。那是爸爸送给爷爷的离别礼物。他们说爷爷要走。他们是这么说的。

  彼得不相信爸爸真会把爷爷送走。可是现在离别礼物都买好了。爸爸今天晚上买的。今晚是他和爷爷在一起的最后一个晚上了。

  吃完晚饭,爷孙俩一块洗碗碟,爸爸走了,和那个就要与他成亲的女人一起走的,不会马上回来。洗完碗碟,爷孙走出屋子,坐在月光下。

  “我去拿口琴来给你吹几支老曲子。”爷爷说。一会儿,爷爷从屋里出来了,拿来的不是口琴,而是那床毛毯。

  那是条大大的双人毛毯。“这毛毯多好!”老人轻抚着膝头的毛毯说,“你爸真孝,给我这老家伙带这么床高级毛毯走。你看这毛,一定很贵的。以后冬天晚上不会冷了。那里不会有这么好的毛毯的。”

  爷爷总这么说,为了避免难堪,他一直装着很想去政府办的养老院的样子,想象着,离开温暖的家和朋友,去哪个地方与许多其他老人一起共度晚年。可彼得从没想到爸爸真会把爷爷送走,直到今晚看到爸爸带回这床毛毯。

  “是床好毛毯,”彼得搭讪着走进小屋。他不是个好哭的孩子,况且,他已早过了好哭鼻子的年龄了。他是进屋给爷爷拿口琴的。

  爷爷接琴时毛毯滑落到地上。最后一个晚上了,爷孙俩谁也没说话。爷爷吹了一会儿,然后说,“你会记住这支曲子。”

  月儿高高挂在天边,微风轻轻地吹过溪谷。最后一次了,彼得想,以后再也听不到爷爷吹口琴了,爸爸也要从这搬走,住进新居了。若把爷爷一个人撇下,美好的夜晚自己独坐廊下,还有什么意思!

  音乐停了,有那么一会儿工夫,爷孙俩谁也没说话。过了一会儿,爷爷说,“这只曲子欢快点。彼得坐在那怔怔地望着远方。爸爸要娶那个姑娘了。是的,那个姑娘亲过他了,还发誓要对他好,做个好妈妈。

  爷爷突然停下来,“这曲子不好,跳舞还凑合。“怔了一会儿,又说,”你爸要娶的姑娘不错。有个这么漂亮的妻子他会变年轻的。我又何必在这碍事,我一会儿这病一会儿那疼,招人嫌呢。况且他们还会有孩子。我可不想整夜听孩子哭闹。不,不!还是走为上策呀!好,再吹两支曲子我们就上床睡觉,睡到明天早晨,带上毛毯走人。你看这支怎么样?调子有些悲,倒很合适这样的夜晚呢。“

  他们没有听到爸爸和那个瓷美人正沿溪谷的小道走来,直到走近门廊,爷孙俩才听到她的笑声,琴声嘎然而止。爸爸一声没吭,姑娘走到爷爷跟前恭敬地说:“明天早晨不能来送您,我现在来跟您告别的。“

  “谢谢了,“爷爷说。低头看着脚边的毛毯,爷爷弯腰拾起来,“你看,”爷爷局促地说,“这是儿子送我的离别礼物。多好的毛毯!”

  “是不错。”她摸了一下毛毯,“好高级呀!”她转向爸爸,冷冷地说,“一定花了不少钱吧。”

  爸爸支吾着说,“我想给他一床最好的毛毯。”“哼,还是双人的呢。”姑娘没完地纠缠毛毯的事。

  “是的,”老人说,“是床双人毛毯。一床一个老家伙即将带走的毛毯。”彼得转身跑进屋。他听到那姑娘还在唠叨毛毯的昂贵,爸爸开始慢慢动怒。姑娘走了,彼得出屋时她正回头冲爸爸喊“甭解释,他根本用不着双人毛毯。”爸爸看着她,脸上有种奇怪的表情。

  “她说得对,爸爸,”彼得说,“爷爷用不着双人毛毯。爸爸,给!”彼得递给爸爸一把剪刀,“把毛毯剪成两块。”

  “好主意,”爷爷温和地说,“我用不着这么大的毛毯。”

  “是的,”彼得说,“老人家送走时给床单人毛毯就不错了。我们还能留下一半,以后迟早总有用处。”

  “你这是什么意思?”爸爸问。

  “我是说,”彼得慢腾腾地说,“等你老了,我送你走时给你这一半。”
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