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青少年双语美文第04篇 Off the Shelf 窃书记

kira86 于2018-05-11发布 l 已有人浏览
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尽管生活已经如此拮据,母亲还是尽力地满足我的对书的渴望。
    小E英语欢迎您,请点击播放按钮开始播放……

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04 Off the Shelf

窃书记

(By Patti Smith)

 

When I was ten years old, I lived with my family in a small ranch house in rural South Jersey. I often accompanied my mother to the A&P to buy groceries. We did not have a car, so we walked, and I would help her carry the bags.

我10岁的时候,和家人一起住在南泽西郊区一个低矮的小平房里。我经常陪妈妈到A&P超市去买日用品。我们没有车,所以都是走着去的,而我都会帮她拎袋子。

My mother had to shop very carefully, as my father was on strike. She was a waitress, and her salary and tips barely sustained us. One day, while she was weighing prices, a promotional display for the World Book Encyclopedia caught my eye. The volumes were cream-colored, with forest-green spines stamped in gold. Volume I was ninety-nine cents with a ten- dollar purchase.

妈妈买东西必须精打细算,因为爸爸当时正在罢工。她是一个服务员,工资和小费加在一起也就勉强够维持我们的生活。一天,当她在超市里比较价格时,《世界百科全书》的促销展示吸引了我的注意。那是一套奶白色的书,暗绿色的书脊上面烫着金字。购物满10美元就可以用99美分买这套书的第一册。

All I could think of, as we combed the aisles for creamed corn, dry milk, cans of Spam, and shredded wheat, was the book, which I longed for with all my being. I stood at the register with my mother, holding my breath as the cashier rang up the items. It came to over eleven dollars. My mother produced a five, some singles , and a handful of change. As she was counting out the money, I somehow found the courage to ask for the encyclopedia. "Could we get one?" I said, showing her the display. "It's only ninety-nine cents."

当我们穿梭在超市货架通道之间寻找着奶油玉米、奶粉、斯帕姆午餐肉罐头和脆麦片条时,我满脑子想的都是那本书,一门心思就想得到它。我和妈妈站在收银台旁,我屏住呼吸,看着收银员输入那些东西的金额结账。总金额超过了11美元。妈妈拿出一张5美元、几张1美元和一把零钱。在她数钱的时候,我不知怎的鼓起了勇气问她要那本百科全书。“我们买一本行吗?”我一边说,一边指着那个促销展示让她看,“只要99美分。”

I did not understand my mother's increasing anxiety; she did not have enough change and had to sacrifice a large can of peas to pay the amount."Not now, Patricia, she said sternly. "Today is not a good day." I packed the groceries and followed her home, crestfallen .

我当时并不理解妈妈渐增的焦虑不安——她带的零钱不够,不得不放弃一大罐豌豆才够付款。“现在不行,帕特里夏,”她厉声说道,“今天不行。”我把买的杂货都装进袋子里,垂头丧气地跟着她回了家。

The next Saturday, my mother gave me a dollar and sent me to the A&P alone. Two quarts of milk and a loaf of bread—that's what a dollar bought in 1957. I went straight to the World Book display. There was only one first volume left, which I placed in my cart. I didn't need a cart, but took one so I could read as I went up and down the aisles. A lot of time went by, but I had little concept of time, a fact that often got me in trouble. I knew I had to leave, but I couldn't bear to part with the book. Impulsively I put it inside my shirt and zipped up my plaid windbreaker . I was a tall, skinny kid, and I'm certain the shape of the book was obvious.

接下来的那个周六,妈妈给了我1美元,派我独自去A&P超市买东西。我要买两夸脱牛奶和一长条面包,在1957年,1美元可以买到这些。我径直走到了《世界百科全书》的展台。第一册只剩下了一本,我把它放进了我的购物车。我并不需要购物车,但我却推了一个,因为这样我就能一边看书一边推着它在过道里走来走去。很长时间过去了,但我这个人向来没有什么时间观念——这经常让我惹上麻烦。我知道我得走了,但又实在舍不得放下那本书。于是我一时冲动,将那本书塞进了我的衬衫里面,然后拉上了我那件印有格子图案的防风夹克的拉链。那时的我长得又高又瘦,我敢肯定书的轮廓一定特别明显。

I strolled the aisles for several more minutes, then went through the checkout, paid my dollar, swiftly bagged the three items, and headed home with my heart pounding.

我在过道里又转悠了几分钟,然后走到收银台,付了1美元,迅速将三样东西装进袋子里,然后回家。我的心怦怦直跳。

Suddenly I felt a heavy tap on my shoulder and turned to find the biggest man I had ever seen. He was the store detective, and he asked me to hand it over. I just stood in silence. "We know you stole something—you will have to be searched." Horrified, I slid the heavy book out from the bottom of my shirt.

突然,我觉得有人在我肩膀上重重拍了一下,我转过身去,发现是一个大个子男人,那是我见过的块头最大的人。他是那家超市的保安,他让我把东西交出来。我一声不吭地站在那儿。“我们知道你偷了东西,你得让我们搜身。”我吓坏了,把那本厚重的书从衬衣下摆处滑了出来。

He looked at it quizzically . "This is what you stole, an encyclopedia?"

他大惑不解地看着那本书。“这就是你偷的东西,一本百科全书?”

"Yes," I whispered, trembling.

“是的。”我小声回答,身体有点儿发抖。

"Why didn't you ask your parents?"

“为什么不让你的父母买给你呢?”

"I did," I said, "but they didn't have the money."

“我问过,”我说,“但他们没有钱。”

"Do you know it's wrong?"

“你知道这是不对的吗?”

"Yes."

“我知道。”

"Do you go to church? "

“你去教堂做礼拜吗?”

"Yes, twice a week."

“是的,每周去两次。”

"Well, you're going to have to tell your parents what you did. "

“好吧,你得告诉你的父母你都做了什么。”

"No, please."

“不要,求求你了。”

"Then I will do it. What's the address? "I was silent.

“那我来告诉他们。你们家住哪儿?”我没回答。

"Well, I'll have to walk you home."

“好吧,那我就得送你回家了。”

"No, please, I will tell them."

“不要,求你了,我会告诉他们的。”

"Do you swear?"

“你发誓?”

"Yes, yes, sir."

“是的,是的,先生。”

My mother was worried when I arrived home. "Where were you? I needed the bread for your father's sandwiches. I told you to come right home."

当我到家的时候,妈妈急坏了。“你去哪儿了?我等着用面包给你爸爸做三明治呢。我告诉过你要直接回家的啊。”

And suddenly everything went green, like right before a tornado. My ears were ringing, I felt dizzy, and I threw up .

突然,我感觉眼前的一切都变暗了,就好像龙卷风即将来临前一样。我的耳朵嗡嗡作响,我觉得头昏眼花,然后就吐了。

My mother tended to me immediately, as she always did. She had me lie on the couch and got a cold towel for my head and sat by me with her anxious expression.

妈妈立刻开始照顾起我来,就像她经常做的那样。她让我躺在沙发上,拿了一条冷毛巾敷在我的额头上,然后一脸担心地坐在我身边。

What is it, Patricia? she asked. "Did something bad happen?"

“怎么了,帕特里夏?”她问,“是不是发生了什么不好的事儿?”

Yes, I whispered. "I stole something." I told her about my lust for the book, my wrongdoing, and the big detective. My mother was a good mother, but she could be explosive , and I tensed, waiting for the barrage of verbal punishment, the sentencing that always seemed to outweigh the crime. But she said nothing. She told me that she would call the store and tell the detective I had confessed, and that I should sleep.

“是的,”我低声说,“我偷东西了。”我告诉了她我对那本书的渴望,我犯下的错,还有那个大个子保安的事儿。我妈妈是一个好妈妈,不过她脾气火爆,所以我很紧张,等着她大骂我一顿,等着接受那似乎总比所犯的错要重的惩罚。但她什么都没说。她告诉我她会给超市打电话,告诉那个保安我已经坦白了,然后让我好好睡一觉。

When I awoke, sometime later, the house was silent. My mother had taken my siblings to the field to play. I sat up and noticed a brown-paper bag with my name on it. I opened it and inside was the World Book Encyclopedia, Volume I.

我睡了一段时间醒来后,发现屋子里静悄悄的。妈妈带我的兄弟姐妹们去院子里玩了。我坐起身来,看到了一个写着我名字的棕色纸袋。我打开袋子,里面正是那本《世界百科全书》第一册。

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