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没有完的故事英文短篇小说

故事 时间:2018-08-28 我要投稿
【www.ruiwen.com - 故事】

  We no longer groan and heap ashes upon our heads when the flames of Tophet are mentioned. For, even the preachers have begun to tell us that God is radium, or ether or some scientific compound, and that the worst we wicked ones may expect is a chemical reaction. This is a pleasing hypothesis; but there lingers yet some of the old, goodly terror of orthodoxy.

  There are but two subjects upon which one may discourse with a free imagination, and without the possibility of being controverted. You may talk of your dreams; and you may tell what you heard a parrot say. Both Morpheus and the bird are incompetent witnesses; and your listener dare not attack your recital. The baseless fabric of a vision, then, shall furnish my theme--chosen with apologies and regrets instead of the more limited field of pretty Polly's small talk.

  I had a dream that was so far removed from the higher criticism that it had to do with the ancient, respectable, and lamented bar-of- judgment theory.

  Gabriel had played his trump; and those of us who could not follow suit were arraigned for examination. I noticed at one side a gathering of professional bondsmen in solemn black and collars that buttoned behind; but it seemed there was some trouble about their real estate titles; and they did not appear to be getting any of us out.

  A fly cop--an angel policeman--flew over to me and took me by the left wing. Near at hand was a group of very prosperous-looking spirits arraigned for judgment.

  "Do you belong with that bunch?" the policeman asked.

  "Who are they?" was my answer.

  "Why," said he, "they are--"

  But this irrelevant stuff is taking up space that the story should occupy.

  Dulcie worked in a department store. She sold Hamburg edging, or stuffed peppers, or automobiles, or other little trinkets such as they keep in department stores. Of what she earned, Dulcie received six dollars per week. The remainder was credited to her and debited to somebody else's account in the ledger kept by G-- Oh, primal energy, you say, Reverend Doctor--Well then, in the Ledger of Primal Energy.

  During her first year in the store, Dulcie was paid five dollars per week. It would be instructive to know how she lived on that amount. Don't care? Very well; probably you are interested in larger amounts. Six dollars is a larger amount. I will tell you how she lived on six dollars per week.

  One afternoon at six, when Dulcie was sticking her hat-pin within an eighth of an inch of her medulla oblongata, she said to her chum, Sadie--the girl that waits on you with her left side:

  "Say, Sade, I made a date for dinner this evening with Piggy."

  "You never did!" exclaimed Sadie admiringly. "Well, ain't you the lucky one? Piggy's an awful swell; and he always takes a girl to swell places. He took Blanche up to the Hoffman House one evening, where they have swell music, and you see a lot of swells. You'll have a swell time, Dulce."

  Dulcie hurried homeward. Her eyes were shining, and her cheeks showed the delicate pink of life's--real life's--approaching dawn. It was Friday; and she had fifty cents left of her last week's wages.

  The streets were filled with the rush-hour floods of people. The electric lights of Broadway were glowing--calling moths from miles, from leagues, from hundreds of leagues out of darkness around to come in and attend the singeing school. Men in accurate clothes, with faces like those carved on cherry stones by the old salts in sailors' homes, turned and stared at Dulcie as she sped, unheeding, past them. Manhattan, the night-blooming cereus, was beginning to unfold its dead-white, heavy-odoured petals.

  Dulcie stopped in a store where goods were cheap and bought an imitation lace collar with her fifty cents. That money was to have been spent otherwise--fifteen cents for supper, ten cents for breakfast, ten cents for lunch. Another dime was to be added to her small store of savings; and five cents was to be squandered for licorice drops--the kind that made your cheek look like the toothache, and last as long. The licorice was an extravagance-- almost a carouse--but what is life without pleasures?

  Dulcie lived in a furnished room. There is this difference between a furnished room and a boardinghouse. In a furnished room, other people do not know it when you go hungry.

  Dulcie went up to her room--the third floor back in a West Side brownstone-front. She lit the gas. Scientists tell us that the diamond is the hardest substance known. Their mistake. Landladies know of a compound beside which the diamond is as putty. They pack it in the tips of gas-burners; and one may stand on a chair and dig at it in vain until one's fingers are pink and bruised. A hairpin will not remove it; therefore let us call it immovable.

  So Dulcie lit the gas. In its one-fourth-candlepower glow we will observe the room.

  Couch-bed, dresser, table, washstand, chair--of this much the landlady was guilty. The rest was Dulcie's. On the dresser were her treasures--a gilt china vase presented to her by Sadie, a calendar issued by a pickle works, a book on the divination of dreams, some rice powder in a glass dish, and a cluster of artificial cherries tied with a pink ribbon.

  Against the wrinkly mirror stood pictures of General Kitchener, William Muldoon, the Duchess of Marlborough, and Benvenuto Cellini. Against one wall was a plaster of Paris plaque of an O'Callahan in a Roman helmet. Near it was a violent oleograph of a lemon-coloured child assaulting an inflammatory butterfly. This was Dulcie's final judgment in art; but it had never been upset. Her rest had never been disturbed by whispers of stolen copes; no critic had elevated his eyebrows at her infantile entomologist.

  Piggy was to call for her at seven. While she swiftly makes ready, let us discreetly face the other way and gossip.

  For the room, Dulcie paid two dollars per week. On week-days her breakfast cost ten cents; she made coffee and cooked an egg over the gaslight while she was dressing. On Sunday mornings she feasted royally on veal chops and pineapple fritters at "Billy's" restaurant, at a cost of twenty-five cents--and tipped the waitress ten cents. New York presents so many temptations for one to run into extravagance. She had her lunches in the department-store restaurant at a cost of sixty cents for the week; dinners were $1.05. The evening papers--show me a New Yorker going without his daily paper! --came to six cents; and two Sunday papers--one for the personal column and the other to read--were ten cents. The total amounts to $4.76. Now, one has to buy clothes, and--

  I give it up. I hear of wonderful bargains in fabrics, and of miracles performed with needle and thread; but I am in doubt. I hold my pen poised in vain when I would add to Dulcie's life some of those joys that belong to woman by virtue of all the unwritten, sacred, natural, inactive ordinances of the equity of heaven. Twice she had been to Coney Island and had ridden the hobby-horses. 'Tis a weary thing to count your pleasures by summers instead of by hours.

  Piggy needs but a word. When the girls named him, an undeserving stigma was cast upon the noble family of swine. The words-of-three- letters lesson in the old blue spelling book begins with Piggy's biography. He was fat; he had the soul of a rat, the habits of a bat, and the magnanimity of a cat. . . He wore expensive clothes; and was a connoisseur in starvation. He could look at a shop-girl and tell you to an hour how long it had been since she had eaten anything more nourishing than marshmallows and tea. He hung about the shopping districts, and prowled around in department stores with his invitations to dinner. Men who escort dogs upon the streets at the end of a string look down upon him. He is a type; I can dwell upon him no longer; my pen is not the kind intended for him; I am no carpenter.

  At ten minutes to seven Dulcie was ready. She looked at herself in the wrinkly mirror. The reflection was satisfactory. The dark blue dress, fitting without a wrinkle, the hat with its jaunty black feather, the but-slightly-soiled gloves--all representing self- denial, even of food itself--were vastly becoming.

  Dulcie forgot everything else for a moment except that she was beautiful, and that life was about to lift a corner of its mysterious veil for her to observe its wonders. No gentleman had ever asked her out before. Now she was going for a brief moment into the glitter and exalted show.

  The girls said that Piggy was a "spender." There would be a grand dinner, and music, and splendidly dressed ladies to look at, and things to eat that strangely twisted the girls' jaws when they tried to tell about them. No doubt she would be asked out again. There was a blue pongee suit in a window that she knew--by saving twenty cents a week instead of ten, in--let's see--Oh, it would run into years! But there was a second-hand store in Seventh Avenue where--

  Somebody knocked at the door. Dulcie opened it. The landlady stood there with a spurious smile, sniffing for cooking by stolen gas.

  "A gentleman's downstairs to see you," she said. "Name is Mr. Wiggins."

  By such epithet was Piggy known to unfortunate ones who had to take him seriously.

  Dulcie turned to the dresser to get her handkerchief; and then she stopped still, and bit her underlip hard. While looking in her mirror she had seen fairyland and herself, a princess, just awakening from a long slumber. She had forgotten one that was watching her with sad, beautiful, stern eyes--the only one there was to approve or condemn what she did. Straight and slender and tall, with a look of sorrowful reproach on his handsome, melancholy face, General Kitchener fixed his wonderful eyes on her out of his gilt photograph frame on the dresser.

  Dulcie turned like an automatic doll to the landlady.

  "Tell him I can't go," she said dully. "Tell him I'm sick, or something. Tell him I'm not going out."

  After the door was closed and locked, Dulcie fell upon her bed, crushing her black tip, and cried for ten minutes. General Kitchener was her only friend. He was Dulcie's ideal of a gallant knight. He looked as if he might have a secret sorrow, and his wonderful moustache was a dream, and she was a little afraid of that stern yet tender look in his eyes. She used to have little fancies that he would call at the house sometime, and ask for her, with his sword clanking against his high boots. Once, when a boy was rattling a piece of chain against a lamp-post she had opened the window and looked out. But there was no use. She knew that General Kitchener was away over in Japan, leading his army against the savage Turks; and he would never step out of his gilt frame for her. Yet one look from him had vanquished Piggy that night. Yes, for that night.

  When her cry was over Dulcie got up and took off her best dress, and put on her old blue kimono. She wanted no dinner. She sang two verses of "Sammy." Then she became intensely interested in a little red speck on the side of her nose. And after that was attended to, she drew up a chair to the rickety table, and told her fortune with an old deck of cards.

  "The horrid, impudent thing!" she said aloud. "And I never gave him a word or a look to make him think it!"

  At nine o'clock Dulcie took a tin box of crackers and a little pot of raspberry jam out of her trunk, and had a feast. She offered General Kitchener some jam on a cracker; but he only looked at her as the sphinx would have looked at a butterfly--if there are butterflies in the desert.

  "Don't eat it if you don't want to," said Dulcie. "And don't put on so many airs and scold so with your eyes. I wonder if you'd he so superior and snippy if you had to live on six dollars a week."

  It was not a good sign for Dulcie to be rude to General Kitchener. And then she turned Benvenuto Cellini face downward with a severe gesture. But that was not inexcusable; for she had always thought he was Henry VIII, and she did not approve of him.

  At half-past nine Dulcie took a last look at the pictures on the dresser, turned out the light, and skipped into bed. It's an awful thing to go to bed with a good-night look at General Kitchener, William Muldoon, the Duchess of Marlborough, and Benvenuto Cellini. This story really doesn't get anywhere at all. The rest of it comes later--sometime when Piggy asks Dulcie again to dine with him, and she is feeling lonelier than usual, and General Kitchener happens to be looking the other way; and then--

  As I said before, I dreamed that I was standing near a crowd of prosperous-looking angels, and a policeman took me by the wing and asked if I belonged with them.

  "Who are they?" I asked.

  "Why," said he, "they are the men who hired working-girls, and paid 'em five or six dollars a week to live on. Are you one of the bunch?"

  "Not on your immortality," said I. "I'm only the fellow that set fire to an orphan asylum, and murdered a blind man for his pennies."

  没有完的故事

  《没有完的故事》是欧亨利的一篇短篇小说.描写了一位每周只挣五美圆的贫穷女工达尔西在阔佬的诱惑下,虽一时动摇但最终拒绝.她复杂的内心世界被真实的表现出来. 她在一家百货公司工作,销售的是呢绒的花边,或是汽车,或是百货公司常备的小饰物之类的商品。在她所创造的财富中,除了每星期只领到六块钱外,其余的都在上帝经管的总帐上哦,牧师先生,你说那叫“原始能量”吗?好吧,就算“原始能量总帐”吧,都——记在某一个人名下的贷方,达尔西名下的借方。

  一天下午六点钟,达尔西在距离延髓八分之一英寸的地方插帽针时,对她的好友——老是侧着左身接待主顾的姑娘——萨迪说:

  “喂,萨迪,今晚我跟皮吉约好了去吃饭。”

  “真的吗!”萨迪羡慕地嚷道。“唷,你真运气。皮吉是个大阔佬;他总是带着姑娘上阔气的地方去。有一晚,他带了布兰奇上霍夫曼大饭店,那儿的音乐真棒,还可以看到许多阔佬。你准会玩得痛快的,达尔西。” 达尔西急急忙忙地赶回家去。她的眼睛闪闪发亮,她的脸颊泛出了生命的娇红——真正的生命的曙光。那天是星期五;她上星期的工资还剩下五毛钱。

  街道上挤满了潮水般下班回家的人们。百老汇路的电灯光亮夺目,招致几英里、几里格、甚至几百里格以外的飞蛾从黑暗中扑来,参加焦头烂额的锻炼。衣冠楚楚,面目模糊不清,像是海员养老院里的老水手在樱桃核上刻出来的男人们,扭过头来凝视着一意奔跑,打他们身边经过的达尔西。曼哈顿,这朵晚上开放的仙人掌花,开始舒展它那颜色死白,气味浓烈的花瓣了。

  达尔西在一家卖便宜货的商店里停了一下,用她的五毛钱买了一条仿花边的纸衣领。那笔款子本来另有用途——晚饭一毛五,早饭一毛,中饭一毛。另外一毛是准备加进她那寒酸的储蓄里的;五分钱准备浪费在甘草糖上——那种糖能使你的脸颊鼓得像牙痛似的,含化的时间也像牙痛那么长。吃甘草糖是一种奢侈——几乎是狂欢——可是没有乐趣的生活又算是什么呢?

  达尔西住的是一间连家具出租的房间。这种房间同包伙食的寄宿舍是有区别的。住在这种屋子里,挨饿的时候别人是不会知道的。

  达尔西上楼到她的房间里去——西区一座褐石房屋的三楼后房。她点上煤气灯。科学家告诉我们,金刚石是世界上最坚硬的物质。他们错了。房东太太掌握了一种化合物,同它一比,连金刚石都软得像油灰了。她们把这种东西塞在煤气灯灯头上,任你站在椅子上挖得手指发红起泡,仍旧白搭。发针不能动它分毫,所以我们姑且管它叫做“牢不可移的”吧。

  达尔西点燃了煤气灯。在那相当于四分之一烛光的灯光下,我们来看看这个房间。

  榻床,梳妆台,桌子,洗脸架,椅子——造孽的房东太太所提供的全在这儿了。其余是达尔西自己的。她的宝贝摆在梳妆台上:萨迪送给她的一个描金磁瓶,腌菜作坊送的一组日历,一本详梦的书,一引起盛在玻璃碟子里的扑粉,以及一束扎着粉红色缎带的假樱桃。

  那面起皱的镜子前靠着基钦纳将军、威廉马尔登、马尔巴勒公爵夫人和本范努托切利尼的相片。一面墙上挂着一个戴罗马式头盔的爱尔兰人的石膏像饰板,旁边有一幅色彩强烈的石印油画,画的是一个淡黄色的孩子在捉弄一只火红色的蝴蝶。达尔西认为那是登峰造极的艺术作品;也没有人对此提出反对意见。从没有人私下底座这幅画的真赝而使她心中不安,也从没有批评家来奚落也的幼年昆虫学家。

  [基钦纳将军(1850--1916):第一次世界大战中英国的名将,曾任陆军元帅和陆军大臣。

  马尔巴勒公爵夫人:马尔巴勒系英国世袭公爵的称号,第一任约翰邱吉尔(1650--1722)为第二次世界大战期间英国首相温斯顿邱吉尔的祖先。]

  皮吉说好七点钟来邀她。她正在迅速地打扮准备,我们不要冒昧,且掉过脸去,随便聊聊。

  达尔西这个房间的租金是每星期两块钱。平日,她早饭花一毛钱。她一面穿衣服,一面在煤气灯上煮咖啡,煎一只蛋。星期日早晨,她花上两毛五分钱在比利饭馆阔气地大吃小牛肉排和菠萝油煎饼——还给女侍者一毛钱的小帐。纽约市有这么多的诱惑,很容易使人趋于奢华。她在百货公司的餐室里包了饭;每星期中饭是六毛钱,晚饭是一块零五分。那些晚报——你说有哪个纽约人不看报纸的!——要花六分钱;两份星期日的报纸——一份是买来看招聘广告栏的,另一份是预备细读的——要一毛钱。总数是四块七分门毛。然而,你总得添置些衣服,还是——

  我没法算下去了。我常听说有便宜得惊人的衣料和针线做出来的奇迹;但是我始终表示怀疑。我很想在达尔西的生活里加上一些根据那神圣,自然,既无明文规定,又不生效的天理的法令而应该是属于女人的乐趣,可是我搁笔长叹,没法写了。她去过两次康奈岛,骑过轮转木马。一个人盼望乐趣要以年份而浊以钟点为期,也未免太乏味了。

  形容皮吉只要一个词儿。姑娘们提到他时,高贵的猪族就蒙上了不就有的污名。在那本蓝封皮的老拼音读本中,用三个字母拼成生字的一课就是皮吉的外传。他长得肥胖,有着耗子的心灵,蝙蝠的习性和狸猫那爱戏弄捕捉物的脾气——他衣着华贵,是鉴别饥饿的专家。他只要朝一个女店员瞅上一眼,就能告诉你,她多久没有吃到比茶和棉花糖更有营养的东西了,并且误差不会超出一小时。他老是在商业区徘徊,在百货公司里打转,相机邀请女店员们下馆子。连街上牵着绳子遛狗的人都瞧不起他。他是个典型;我不能再写他了;我的笔不是为他服务的;我不是木匠。

  [“肥胖”,“耗子”,“蝙蝠”,“狸猫”(fat, rat, bat, cat)在英语中都由三个字母组成。“皮吉”(Piggy)意为“小猪”。]

  七点差十分的时候,达尔西准备停当了。她在那面起皱的镜子里照了一下。照出来的形象很称心。那套深蓝色的衣服非常合身,带着飘拂的黑羽毛的帽子,稍微有点脏的手套——这一切都代表苦苦地省吃俭用——都非常漂亮。

  达尔西暂时忘了一切,只觉得自己是美丽的,生活就要把它神秘的帷幕揭开一角,让她欣赏它的神奇。以前从没有男人邀请她出去过。现在她居然就要投入那种绚烂夺目的高贵生活中去,在里面逗留片刻了。

  姑娘们说,皮吉是舍得花钱的。一定会有一顿丰盛的大餐,音乐,还有服饰华丽的女人可以看,有姑娘们讲得下巴都要掉下来的好东西可以吃。无疑的,她下次还会被邀请出去。

  在她所熟悉的一个橱窗里,有一件蓝色的柞蚕丝绸衣服——如果每星期的储蓄从一毛钱增加到两毛,在——让我们算算看——喔,得积上好几年呢!但是七马路有一家旧货商店,那儿——

  有人敲门。达尔西把门打开。房东太太站在那儿,脸上堆着假笑,嗅嗅有没有偷用煤气烧食物的气味。

  楼下有一位先生要见你,”她说,“姓威金斯。”

  对于那些把皮吉当作一回事的倒霉女人,皮吉总是用那个姓出面。

  达尔西转向梳妆台去拿手帕;她突然停住了,使劲咬着下唇。先前她照镜子的时候,只看到仙境里的自己,仿佛刚从大梦中醒过来的公主。她忘了有一个人带着忧郁、美妙而严肃的眼神在瞅她——只有这个人关心她的行为,或是赞成,或是反对。他的身材颀长笔挺,他那英俊而忧郁的脸上带伤心和谴责的神情,那是基钦纳将军从梳妆台上的描金镜框里用他奇妙的眼睛在瞪着她 .

  九点钟,达尔西从箱子里取出一盒饼干和一小罐木莓果酱,大吃了一顿。她敬了基钦纳将军一块涂好果酱的饼干;但是基钦纳却像斯芬克斯望蝴蝶飞舞似地望着她——如果沙漠里也有蝴蝶的话。

  [斯芬克斯:希腊的斯芬克斯是女首狮身展翅的石像;在埃及的是男首狮身无翼的石像,在大金字塔附近。]

  “你不爱吃就别吃好啦。”达尔西说,“何必这样神气活现地瞪着眼责备我。如果你每星期也靠六块钱来维持生活,我倒想知道,你是不是仍旧这样优越,这样神气。”

  达尔西对基钦纳将军不敬并不是个好现象。接着,她用严厉的姿态把本范努托切利尼的脸翻了过去。那倒不是不可原谅的;因为她总把他当作亨利八世,对他很不满意。

  [亨利八世(1491--1547):英国国王,他曾多次离婚,并处决过第二个妻子。]

  九点半钟,达尔西对梳妆台上的相片看了最后一眼,便熄了灯,跳上床去。临睡前还向基钦纳将军、威廉马尔登、马尔巴勒公爵夫人和本范努托切利尼行了一个晚安注目礼,真是不痛快的事情。

  到这里为止,这个故事并不说明问题。其余的情节是后来发生的——有一次,皮吉再请达尔西一起下馆子,她比平时更感到寂寞,而基钦纳将军的眼光碰巧又望着别处;于是——

  我在前面说过,我梦见自己站在一群境况很好的鬼灵旁边,一个警察挟着我的胳臂,问我是不是同那群人一起的。

  “他们是谁呀?”我问。

  “唷,”他说,“他们是那种雇用女工,每星期给她们五、六块钱维持生活的老板。你是那群人里面的吗?”

  对天起誓,我绝对不是。”我说,“我的罪孽没有那么重,我只不过放火烧了一所孤儿院,为了少许钱财谋害了一个瞎子的性命。

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