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Chapter 6 Death In The Family
ARTHUR MOREL was growing up. He was a quick, careless, impulsive1 boy, a good deal like his father. He hated study, made a great moan if he had to work, and escaped as soon as possible to his sport again.

In appearance he remained the flower of the family, being well made, graceful2, and full of life. His dark brown hair and fresh colouring, and his exquisite3 dark blue eyes shaded with long lashes4, together with his generous manner and fiery5 temper, made him a favourite. But as he grew older his temper became uncertain. He flew into rages over nothing, seemed unbearably6 raw and irritable7.

His mother, whom he loved, wearied of him sometimes. He thought only of himself. When he wanted amusement, all that stood in his way he hated, even if it were she. When he was in trouble he moaned to her ceaselessly.

"Goodness, boy!" she said, when he groaned8 about a master who, he said, hated him, "if you don't like it, alter it, and if you can't alter it, put up with it."

And his father, whom he had loved and who had worshipped him, he came to detest9. As he grew older Morel fell into a slow ruin. His body, which had been beautiful in movement and in being, shrank, did not seem to ripen10 with the years, but to get mean and rather despicable. There came over him a look of meanness and of paltriness11. And when the mean-looking elderly man bullied12 or ordered the boy about, Arthur was furious. Moreover, Morel's manners got worse and worse, his habits somewhat disgusting. When the children were growing up and in the crucial stage of adolescence13, the father was like some ugly irritant to their souls. His manners in the house were the same as he used among the colliers down pit.

"Dirty nuisance!" Arthur would cry, jumping up and going straight out of the house when his father disgusted him. And Morel persisted the more because his children hated it. He seemed to take a kind of satisfaction in disgusting them, and driving them nearly mad, while they were so irritably14 sensitive at the age of fourteen or fifteen. So that Arthur, who was growing up when his father was degenerate15 and elderly, hated him worst of all.

Then, sometimes, the father would seem to feel the contemptuous hatred16 of his children.

"There's not a man tries harder for his family!" he would shout. "He does his best for them, and then gets treated like a dog. But I'm not going to stand it, I tell you!"

But for the threat and the fact that he did not try so hard as be imagined, they would have felt sorry. As it was, the battle now went on nearly all between father and children, he persisting in his dirty and disgusting ways, just to assert his independence. They loathed17 him.

Arthur was so inflamed18 and irritable at last, that when he won a scholarship for the Grammar School in Nottingham, his mother decided21 to let him live in town, with one of her sisters, and only come home at week-ends.

Annie was still a junior teacher in the Board-school, earning about four shillings a week. But soon she would have fifteen shillings, since she had passed her examination, and there would be financial peace in the house.

Mrs. Morel clung now to Paul. He was quiet and not brilliant. But still he stuck to his painting, and still he stuck to his mother. Everything he did was for her. She waited for his coming home in the evening, and then she unburdened herself of all she had pondered, or of all that had occurred to her during the day. He sat and listened with his earnestness. The two shared lives.

William was engaged now to his brunette, and had bought her an engagement ring that cost eight guineas. The children gasped23 at such a fabulous24 price.

"Eight guineas!" said Morel. "More fool him! If he'd gen me some on't, it 'ud ha' looked better on 'im."

"Given YOU some of it!" cried Mrs. Morel. "Why give YOU some of it!"

She remembered HE had bought no engagement ring at all, and she preferred William, who was not mean, if he were foolish. But now the young man talked only of the dances to which he went with his betrothed25, and the different resplendent clothes she wore; or he told his mother with glee how they went to the theatre like great swells26.

He wanted to bring the girl home. Mrs. Morel said she should come at the Christmas. This time William arrived with a lady, but with no presents. Mrs. Morel had prepared supper. Hearing footsteps, she rose and went to the door. William entered.

"Hello, mother!" He kissed her hastily, then stood aside to present a tall, handsome girl, who was wearing a costume of fine black-and-white check, and furs.

"Here's Gyp!"

Miss Western held out her hand and showed her teeth in a small smile.

"Oh, how do you do, Mrs. Morel!" she exclaimed.

"I am afraid you will be hungry," said Mrs. Morel.

"Oh no, we had dinner in the train. Have you got my gloves, Chubby27?"

William Morel, big and raw-boned, looked at her quickly.

"How should I?" he said.

"Then I've lost them. Don't be cross with me."

A frown went over his face, but he said nothing. She glanced round the kitchen. It was small and curious to her, with its glittering kissing-bunch, its evergreens28 behind the pictures, its wooden chairs and little deal table. At that moment Morel came in.

"Hello, dad!"

"Hello, my son! Tha's let on me!"

The two shook hands, and William presented the lady. She gave the same smile that showed her teeth.

"How do you do, Mr. Morel?"

Morel bowed obsequiously29.

"I'm very well, and I hope so are you. You must make yourself very welcome."

"Oh, thank you," she replied, rather amused.

"You will like to go upstairs," said Mrs. Morel.

"If you don't mind; but not if it is any trouble to you."

"It is no trouble. Annie will take you. Walter, carry up this box."

"And don't be an hour dressing30 yourself up," said William to his betrothed.

Annie took a brass31 candlestick, and, too shy almost to speak, preceded the young lady to the front bedroom, which Mr. and Mrs. Morel had vacated for her. It, too, was small and cold by candlelight. The colliers' wives only lit fires in bedrooms in case of extreme illness.

"Shall I unstrap the box?" asked Annie.

"Oh, thank you very much!"

Annie played the part of maid, then went downstairs for hot water.

"I think she's rather tired, mother," said William. "It's a beastly journey, and we had such a rush."

"Is there anything I can give her?" asked Mrs. Morel.

"Oh no, she'll be all right."

But there was a chill in the atmosphere. After half an hour Miss Western came down, having put on a purplish-coloured dress, very fine for the collier's kitchen.

"I told you you'd no need to change," said William to her.

"Oh, Chubby!" Then she turned with that sweetish smile to Mrs. Morel. "Don't you think he's always grumbling32, Mrs. Morel?"

"Is he?" said Mrs. Morel. "That's not very nice of him."

"It isn't, really!"

"You are cold," said the mother. "Won't you come near the fire?"

Morel jumped out of his armchair.

"Come and sit you here!" he cried. "Come and sit you here!"

"No, dad, keep your own chair. Sit on the sofa, Gyp," said William.

"No, no!" cried Morel. "This cheer's warmest. Come and sit here, Miss Wesson."

"Thank you so much," said the girl, seating herself in the collier's armchair, the place of honour. She shivered, feeling the warmth of the kitchen penetrate33 her.

"Fetch me a hanky, Chubby dear!" she said, putting up her mouth to him, and using the same intimate tone as if they were alone; which made the rest of the family feel as if they ought not to be present. The young lady evidently did not realise them as people: they were creatures to her for the present. William winced34.

In such a household, in Streatham, Miss Western would have been a lady condescending35 to her inferiors. These people were to her, certainly clownish--in short, the working classes. How was she to adjust herself?

"I'll go," said Annie.

Miss Western took no notice, as if a servant had spoken. But when the girl came downstairs again with the handkerchief, she said: "Oh, thank you!" in a gracious way.

She sat and talked about the dinner on the train, which had been so poor; about London, about dances. She was really very nervous, and chattered38 from fear. Morel sat all the time smoking his thick twist tobacco, watching her, and listening to her glib39 London speech, as he puffed40. Mrs. Morel, dressed up in her best black silk blouse, answered quietly and rather briefly41. The three children sat round in silence and admiration42. Miss Western was the princess. Everything of the best was got out for her: the best cups, the best spoons, the best table cloth, the best coffee-jug. The children thought she must find it quite grand. She felt strange, not able to realise the people, not knowing how to treat them. William joked, and was slightly uncomfortable.

At about ten o'clock he said to her:

"Aren't you tired, Gyp?"

"Rather, Chubby," she answered, at once in the intimate tones and putting her head slightly on one side.

"I'll light her the candle, mother," he said.

"Very well," replied the mother.

Miss Western stood up, held out her hand to Mrs. Morel.

"Good-night, Mrs. Morel," she said.

Paul sat at the boiler43, letting the water run from the tap into a stone beer-bottle. Annie swathed the bottle in an old flannel44 pit-singlet, and kissed her mother good-night. She was to share the room with the lady, because the house was full.

"You wait a minute," said Mrs. Morel to Annie. And Annie sat nursing the hot-water bottle. Miss Western shook hands all round, to everybody's discomfort45, and took her departure, preceded by William. In five minutes he was downstairs again. His heart was rather sore; he did not know why. He talked very little till everybody had gone to bed, but himself and his mother. Then he stood with his legs apart, in his old attitude on the hearthrug, and said hesitatingly:

"Well, mother?"

"Well, my son?"

She sat in the rocking-chair, feeling somehow hurt and humiliated46, for his sake.

"Do you like her?"

"Yes," came the slow answer.

"She's shy yet, mother. She's not used to it. It's different from her aunt's house, you know."

"Of course it is, my boy; and she must find it difficult."

"She does." Then he frowned swiftly. "If only she wouldn't put on her BLESSED airs!"

"It's only her first awkwardness, my boy. She'll be all right."

"That's it, mother," he replied gratefully. But his brow was gloomy. "You know, she's not like you, mother. She's not serious, and she can't think."

"She's young, my boy."

"Yes; and she's had no sort of show. Her mother died when she was a child. Since then she's lived with her aunt, whom she can't bear. And her father was a rake. She's had no love."

"No! Well, you must make up to her."

"And so--you have to forgive her a lot of things."

"WHAT do you have to forgive her, my boy?"

"I dunno. When she seems shallow, you have to remember she's never had anybody to bring her deeper side out. And she's FEARFULLY fond of me."

"Anybody can see that."

"But you know, mother--she's--she's different from us. Those sort of people, like those she lives amongst, they don't seem to have the same principles."

"You mustn't judge too hastily," said Mrs. Morel.

But he seemed uneasy within himself.

In the morning, however, he was up singing and larking48 round the house.

"Hello!" he called, sitting on the stairs. "Are you getting up?"

"Yes," her voice called faintly.

"Merry Christmas!" he shouted to her.

Her laugh, pretty and tinkling49, was heard in the bedroom. She did not come down in half an hour.

"Was she REALLY getting up when she said she was?" he asked of Annie.

"Yes, she was," replied Annie.

He waited a while, then went to the stairs again.

"Happy New Year," he called.

"Thank you, Chubby dear!" came the laughing voice, far away.

"Buck50 up!" he implored51.

It was nearly an hour, and still he was waiting for her. Morel, who always rose before six, looked at the clock.

"Well, it's a winder!" he exclaimed.

The family had breakfasted, all but William. He went to the foot of the stairs.

"Shall I have to send you an Easter egg up there?" he called, rather crossly. She only laughed. The family expected, after that time of preparation, something like magic. At last she came, looking very nice in a blouse and skirt.

"Have you REALLY been all this time getting ready?" he asked.

"Chubby dear! That question is not permitted, is it, Mrs. Morel?"

She played the grand lady at first. When she went with William to chapel52, he in his frock-coat and silk hat, she in her furs and London-made costume, Paul and Arthur and Annie expected everybody to bow to the ground in admiration. And Morel, standing53 in his Sunday suit at the end of the road, watching the gallant54 pair go, felt he was the father of princes and princesses.

And yet she was not so grand. For a year now she had been a sort of secretary or clerk in a London office. But while she was with the Morels she queened it. She sat and let Annie or Paul wait on her as if they were her servants. She treated Mrs. Morel with a certain glibness55 and Morel with patronage56. But after a day or so she began to change her tune57.

William always wanted Paul or Annie to go along with them on their walks. It was so much more interesting. And Paul really DID admire "Gipsy" wholeheartedly; in fact, his mother scarcely forgave the boy for the adulation with which he treated the girl.

On the second day, when Lily said: "Oh, Annie, do you know where I left my muff?" William replied:

"You know it is in your bedroom. Why do you ask Annie?"

And Lily went upstairs with a cross, shut mouth. But it angered the young man that she made a servant of his sister.

On the third evening William and Lily were sitting together in the parlour by the fire in the dark. At a quarter to eleven Mrs. Morel was heard raking the fire. William came out to the kitchen, followed by his beloved.

"Is it as late as that, mother?" he said. She had been sitting alone.

"It is not LATE, my boy, but it is as late as I usually sit up."

"Won't you go to bed, then?" he asked.

"And leave you two? No, my boy, I don't believe in it."

"Can't you trust us, mother?"

"Whether I can or not, I won't do it. You can stay till eleven if you like, and I can read."

"Go to bed, Gyp," he said to his girl. "We won't keep mater waiting."

"Annie has left the candle burning, Lily," said Mrs. Morel; "I think you will see."

"Yes, thank you. Good-night, Mrs. Morel."

William kissed his sweetheart at the foot of the stairs, and she went. He returned to the kitchen.

"Can't you trust us, mother?" he repeated, rather offended.

"My boy, I tell you I don't BELIEVE in leaving two young things like you alone downstairs when everyone else is in bed."

And he was forced to take this answer. He kissed his mother good-night.

At Easter he came over alone. And then he discussed his sweetheart endlessly with his mother.

"You know, mother, when I'm away from her I don't care for her a bit. I shouldn't care if I never saw her again. But, then, when I'm with her in the evenings I am awfully58 fond of her."

"It's a queer sort of love to marry on," said Mrs. Morel, "if she holds you no more than that!"

"It IS funny!" he exclaimed. It worried and perplexed59 him. "But yet--there's so much between us now I couldn't give her up."

"You know best," said Mrs. Morel. "But if it is as you say, I wouldn't call it LOVE--at any rate, it doesn't look much like it."

"Oh, I don't know, mother. She's an orphan60, and---"

They never came to any sort of conclusion. He seemed puzzled and rather fretted61. She was rather reserved. All his strength and money went in keeping this girl. He could scarcely afford to take his mother to Nottingham when he came over.

Paul's wages had been raised at Christmas to ten shillings, to his great joy. He was quite happy at Jordan's, but his health suffered from the long hours and the confinement62. His mother, to whom he became more and more significant, thought how to help.

His half-day holiday was on Monday afternoon. On a Monday morning in May, as the two sat alone at breakfast, she said:

"I think it will be a fine day."

He looked up in surprise. This meant something.

"You know Mr. Leivers has gone to live on a new farm. Well, he asked me last week if I wouldn't go and see Mrs. Leivers, and I promised to bring you on Monday if it's fine. Shall we go?"

"I say, little woman, how lovely!" he cried. "And we'll go this afternoon?"

Paul hurried off to the station jubilant. Down Derby Road was a cherry-tree that glistened63. The old brick wall by the Statutes64 ground burned scarlet65, spring was a very flame of green. And the steep swoop66 of highroad lay, in its cool morning dust, splendid with patterns of sunshine and shadow, perfectly67 still. The trees sloped their great green shoulders proudly; and inside the warehouse68 all the morning, the boy had a vision of spring outside.

When he came home at dinner-time his mother was rather excited.

"Are we going?" he asked.

"When I'm ready," she replied.

Presently he got up.

"Go and get dressed while I wash up," he said.

She did so. He washed the pots, straightened, and then took her boots. They were quite clean. Mrs. Morel was one of those naturally exquisite people who can walk in mud without dirtying their shoes. But Paul had to clean them for her. They were kid boots at eight shillings a pair. He, however, thought them the most dainty boots in the world, and he cleaned them with as much reverence69 as if they had been flowers.

Suddenly she appeared in the inner doorway70 rather shyly. She had got a new cotton blouse on. Paul jumped up and went forward.

"Oh, my stars!" he exclaimed. "What a bobby-dazzler!"

She sniffed71 in a little haughty72 way, and put her head up.

"It's not a bobby-dazzler at all!" she replied. "It's very quiet."

She walked forward, whilst he hovered73 round her.

"Well," she asked, quite shy, but pretending to be high and mighty74, "do you like it?"

"Awfully! You ARE a fine little woman to go jaunting out with!"

He went and surveyed her from the back.

"Well," he said, "if I was walking down the street behind you, I should say: 'Doesn't THAT little person fancy herself!"'

"Well, she doesn't," replied Mrs. Morel. "She's not sure it suits her."

"Oh no! she wants to be in dirty black, looking as if she was wrapped in burnt paper. It DOES suit you, and I say you look nice."

She sniffed in her little way, pleased, but pretending to know better.

"Well," she said, "it's cost me just three shillings. You couldn't have got it ready-made for that price, could you?"

"I should think you couldn't," he replied.

"And, you know, it's good stuff."

"Awfully pretty," he said.

The blouse was white, with a little sprig of heliotrope75 and black.

"Too young for me, though, I'm afraid," she said.

"Too young for you!" he exclaimed in disgust. "Why don't you buy some false white hair and stick it on your head."

"I s'll soon have no need," she replied. "I'm going white fast enough."

"Well, you've no business to," he said. "What do I want with a white-haired mother?"

"I'm afraid you'll have to put up with one, my lad," she said rather strangely.

They set off in great style, she carrying the umbrella William had given her, because of the sun. Paul was considerably76 taller than she, though he was not big. He fancied himself.

On the fallow land the young wheat shone silkily. Minton pit waved its plumes77 of white steam, coughed, and rattled79 hoarsely80.

"Now look at that!" said Mrs. Morel. Mother and son stood on the road to watch. Along the ridge81 of the great pit-hill crawled a little group in silhouette82 against the sky, a horse, a small truck, and a man. They climbed the incline against the heavens. At the end the man tipped the wagon83. There was an undue84 rattle78 as the waste fell down the sheer slope of the enormous bank.

"You sit a minute, mother," he said, and she took a seat on a bank, whilst he sketched86 rapidly. She was silent whilst he worked, looking round at the afternoon, the red cottages shining among their greenness.

"The world is a wonderful place," she said, "and wonderfully beautiful."

"And so's the pit," he said. "Look how it heaps together, like something alive almost--a big creature that you don't know."

"Yes," she said. "Perhaps!"

"And all the trucks standing waiting, like a string of beasts to be fed," he said.

"And very thankful I am they ARE standing," she said, "for that means they'll turn middling time this week."

"But I like the feel of MEN on things, while they're alive. There's a feel of men about trucks, because they've been handled with men's hands, all of them."

"Yes," said Mrs. Morel.

They went along under the trees of the highroad. He was constantly informing her, but she was interested. They passed the end of Nethermere, that was tossing its sunshine like petals87 lightly in its lap. Then they turned on a private road, and in some trepidation88 approached a big farm. A dog barked furiously. A woman came out to see.

"Is this the way to Willey Farm?" Mrs. Morel asked.

Paul hung behind in terror of being sent back. But the woman was amiable89, and directed them. The mother and son went through the wheat and oats, over a little bridge into a wild meadow. Peewits, with their white breasts glistening90, wheeled and screamed about them. The lake was still and blue. High overhead a heron floated. Opposite, the wood heaped on the hill, green and still.

"It's a wild road, mother," said Paul. "Just like Canada."

"Isn't it beautiful!" said Mrs. Morel, looking round.

"See that heron--see--see her legs?"

He directed his mother, what she must see and what not. And she was quite content.

"But now," she said, "which way? He told me through the wood."

The wood, fenced and dark, lay on their left.

"I can feel a bit of a path this road," said Paul. "You've got town feet, somehow or other, you have."

They found a little gate, and soon were in a broad green alley91 of the wood, with a new thicket92 of fir and pine on one hand, an old oak glade93 dipping down on the other. And among the oaks the bluebells94 stood in pools of azure95, under the new green hazels, upon a pale fawn96 floor of oak-leaves. He found flowers for her.

"Here's a bit of new-mown hay," he said; then, again, he brought her forget-me-nots. And, again, his heart hurt with love, seeing her hand, used with work, holding the little bunch of flowers he gave her. She was perfectly happy.

But at the end of the riding was a fence to climb. Paul was over in a second.

"Come," he said, "let me help you."

"No, go away. I will do it in my own way."

He stood below with his hands up ready to help her. She climbed cautiously.

"What a way to climb!" he exclaimed scornfully, when she was safely to earth again.

"Hateful stiles!" she cried.

"Duffer of a little woman," he replied, "who can't get over 'em."

In front, along the edge of the wood, was a cluster of low red farm buildings. The two hastened forward. Flush with the wood was the apple orchard97, where blossom was falling on the grindstone. The pond was deep under a hedge and overhanging oak trees. Some cows stood in the shade. The farm and buildings, three sides of a quadrangle, embraced the sunshine towards the wood. It was very still.

Mother and son went into the small railed garden, where was a scent98 of red gillivers. By the open door were some floury loaves, put out to cool. A hen was just coming to peck them. Then, in the doorway suddenly appeared a girl in a dirty apron99. She was about fourteen years old, had a rosy100 dark face, a bunch of short black curls, very fine and free, and dark eyes; shy, questioning, a little resentful of the strangers, she disappeared. In a minute another figure appeared, a small, frail101 woman, rosy, with great dark brown eyes.

"Oh!" she exclaimed, smiling with a little glow, "you've come, then. I AM glad to see you." Her voice was intimate and rather sad.

The two women shook hands.

"Now are you sure we're not a bother to you?" said Mrs. Morel. "I know what a farming life is."

"Oh no! We're only too thankful to see a new face, it's so lost up here."

"I suppose so," said Mrs. Morel.

They were taken through into the parlour--a long, low room, with a great bunch of guelder-roses in the fireplace. There the women talked, whilst Paul went out to survey the land. He was in the garden smelling the gillivers and looking at the plants, when the girl came out quickly to the heap of coal which stood by the fence.

"I suppose these are cabbage-roses?" he said to her, pointing to the bushes along the fence.

She looked at him with startled, big brown eyes.

"I suppose they are cabbage-roses when they come out?" he said.

"I don't know," she faltered102. "They're white with pink middles."

"Then they're maiden-blush."

Miriam flushed. She had a beautiful warm colouring.

"I don't know," she said.

"You don't have MUCH in your garden," he said.

"This is our first year here," she answered, in a distant, rather superior way, drawing back and going indoors. He did not notice, but went his round of exploration. Presently his mother came out, and they went through the buildings. Paul was hugely delighted.

"And I suppose you have the fowls103 and calves104 and pigs to look after?" said Mrs. Morel to Mrs. Leivers.

"No," replied the little woman. "I can't find time to look after cattle, and I'm not used to it. It's as much as I can do to keep going in the house."

"Well, I suppose it is," said Mrs. Morel.

Presently the girl came out.

"Tea is ready, mother," she said in a musical, quiet voice.

"Oh, thank you, Miriam, then we'll come," replied her mother, almost ingratiatingly. "Would you CARE to have tea now, Mrs. Morel?"

"Of course," said Mrs. Morel. "Whenever it's ready."

Paul and his mother and Mrs. Leivers had tea together. Then they went out into the wood that was flooded with bluebells, while fumy105 forget-me-nots were in the paths. The mother and son were in ecstasy106 together.

When they got back to the house, Mr. Leivers and Edgar, the eldest107 son, were in the kitchen. Edgar was about eighteen. Then Geoffrey and Maurice, big lads of twelve and thirteen, were in from school. Mr. Leivers was a good-looking man in the prime of life, with a golden-brown moustache, and blue eyes screwed up against the weather.

The boys were condescending, but Paul scarcely observed it. They went round for eggs, scrambling108 into all sorts of places. As they were feeding the fowls Miriam came out. The boys took no notice of her. One hen, with her yellow chickens, was in a coop. Maurice took his hand full of corn and let the hen peck from it.

"Durst you do it?" he asked of Paul.

"Let's see," said Paul.

He had a small hand, warm, and rather capable-looking. Miriam watched. He held the corn to the hen. The bird eyed it with her hard, bright eye, and suddenly made a peck into his hand. He started, and laughed. "Rap, rap, rap!" went the bird's beak109 in his palm. He laughed again, and the other boys joined.

"She knocks you, and nips you, but she never hurts," said Paul, when the last corn had gone. " Now, Miriam," said Maurice, "you come an 'ave a go."

"No," she cried, shrinking back.

"Ha! baby. The mardy-kid!" said her brothers.

"It doesn't hurt a bit," said Paul. "It only just nips rather nicely."

"No," she still cried, shaking her black curls and shrinking.

"She dursn't," said Geoffrey. "She niver durst do anything except recite poitry."

"Dursn't jump off a gate, dursn't tweedle, dursn't go on a slide, dursn't stop a girl hittin' her. She can do nowt but go about thinkin' herself somebody. 'The Lady of the Lake.' Yah!" cried Maurice.

Miriam was crimson110 with shame and misery111.

"I dare do more than you," she cried. "You're never anything but cowards and bullies112."

"Oh, cowards and bullies!" they repeated mincingly113, mocking her speech.


"Not such a clown shall anger me,

A boor114 is answered silently,"

he quoted against her, shouting with laughter.

She went indoors. Paul went with the boys into the orchard, where they had rigged up a parallel bar. They did feats115 of strength. He was more agile116 than strong, but it served. He fingered a piece of apple-blossom that hung low on a swinging bough22.

"I wouldn't get the apple-blossom," said Edgar, the eldest brother. "There'll be no apples next year."

"I wasn't going to get it," replied Paul, going away.

The boys felt hostile to him; they were more interested in their own pursuits. He wandered back to the house to look for his mother. As he went round the back, he saw Miriam kneeling in front of the hen-coop, some maize117 in her hand, biting her lip, and crouching118 in an intense attitude. The hen was eyeing her wickedly. Very gingerly she put forward her hand. The hen bobbed for her. She drew back quickly with a cry, half of fear, half of chagrin119.

"It won't hurt you," said Paul.

She flushed crimson and started up.

"I only wanted to try," she said in a low voice.

"See, it doesn't hurt," he said, and, putting only two corns in his palm, he let the hen peck, peck, peck at his bare hand. "It only makes you laugh," he said.

She put her hand forward and dragged it away, tried again, and started back with a cry. He frowned.

"Why, I'd let her take corn from my face," said Paul, "only she bumps a bit. She's ever so neat. If she wasn't, look how much ground she'd peck up every day."

He waited grimly, and watched. At last Miriam let the bird peck from her hand. She gave a little cry--fear, and pain because of fear--rather pathetic. But she had done it, and she did it again.

"There, you see," said the boy. "It doesn't hurt, does it?"

She looked at him with dilated121 dark eyes.

"No," she laughed, trembling.

Then she rose and went indoors. She seemed to be in some way resentful of the boy.

"He thinks I'm only a common girl," she thought, and she wanted to prove she was a grand person like the "Lady of the Lake".

Paul found his mother ready to go home. She smiled on her son. He took the great bunch of flowers. Mr. and Mrs. Leivers walked down the fields with them. The hills were golden with evening; deep in the woods showed the darkening purple of bluebells. It was everywhere perfectly stiff, save for the rustling122 of leaves and birds.

"But it is a beautiful place," said Mrs. Morel.

"Yes," answered Mr. Leivers; "it's a nice little place, if only it weren't for the rabbits. The pasture's bitten down to nothing. I dunno if ever I s'll get the rent off it."

He clapped his hands, and the field broke into motion near the woods, brown rabbits hopping123 everywhere.

"Would you believe it!" exclaimed Mrs. Morel.

She and Paul went on alone together.

"Wasn't it lovely, mother?" he said quietly.

A thin moon was coming out. His heart was full of happiness till it hurt. His mother had to chatter37, because she, too, wanted to cry with happiness.

"Now WOULDN'T I help that man!" she said. "WOULDN'T I see to the fowls and the young stock! And I'D learn to milk, and I'D talk with him, and I'D plan with him. My word, if I were his wife, the farm would be run, I know! But there, she hasn't the strength--she simply hasn't the strength. She ought never to have been burdened like it, you know. I'm sorry for her, and I'm sorry for him too. My word, if I'D had him, I shouldn't have thought him a bad husband! Not that she does either; and she's very lovable."

William came home again with his sweetheart at the Whitsuntide. He had one week of his holidays then. It was beautiful weather. As a rule, William and Lily and Paul went out in the morning together for a walk. William did not talk to his beloved much, except to tell her things from his boyhood. Paul talked endlessly to both of them. They lay down, all three, in a meadow by Minton Church. On one side, by the Castle Farm, was a beautiful quivering screen of poplars. Hawthorn124 was dropping from the hedges; penny daisies and ragged120 robin125 were in the field, like laughter. William, a big fellow of twenty-three, thinner now and even a bit gaunt, lay back in the sunshine and dreamed, while she fingered with his hair. Paul went gathering126 the big daisies. She had taken off her hat; her hair was black as a horse's mane. Paul came back and threaded daisies in her jet-black hair--big spangles of white and yellow, and just a pink touch of ragged robin.

"Now you look like a young witch-woman," the boy said to her. "Doesn't she, William?"

Lily laughed. William opened his eyes and looked at her. In his gaze was a certain baffled look of misery and fierce appreciation127.

"Has he made a sight of me?" she asked, laughing down on her lover.

"That he has!" said William, smiling.

He looked at her. Her beauty seemed to hurt him. He glanced at her flower-decked head and frowned.

"You look nice enough, if that's what you want to know," he said.

And she walked without her hat. In a little while William recovered, and was rather tender to her. Coming to a bridge, he carved her initials and his in a heart.


L. L. W.

W. M.

She watched his strong, nervous hand, with its glistening hairs and freckles128, as he carved, and she seemed fascinated by it.

All the time there was a feeling of sadness and warmth, and a certain tenderness in the house, whilst William and Lily were at home. But often he got irritable. She had brought, for an eight-days' stay, five dresses and six blouses.

"Oh, would you mind," she said to Annie, "washing me these two blouses, and these things?"

And Annie stood washing when William and Lily went out the next morning. Mrs. Morel was furious. And sometimes the young man, catching129 a glimpse of his sweetheart's attitude towards his sister, hated her.

On Sunday morning she looked very beautiful in a dress of foulard, silky and sweeping130, and blue as a jay-bird's feather, and in a large cream hat covered with many roses, mostly crimson. Nobody could admire her enough. But in the evening, when she was going out, she asked again:

"Chubby, have you got my gloves?"

"Which?" asked William.

"My new black SUEDE131."

"No."

There was a hunt. She had lost them.

"Look here, mother," said William, "that's the fourth pair she's lost since Christmas--at five shillings a pair!"

"You only gave me TWO of them," she remonstrated132.

And in the evening, after supper, he stood on the hearthrug whilst she sat on the sofa, and he seemed to hate her. In the afternoon he had left her whilst he went to see some old friend. She had sat looking at a book. After supper William wanted to write a letter.

"Here is your book, Lily," said Mrs. Morel. "Would you care to go on with it for a few minutes?"

"No, thank you," said the girl. "I will sit still."

"But it is so dull."

William scribbled133 irritably at a great rate. As he sealed the envelope he said:

"Read a book! Why, she's never read a book in her life."

"Oh, go along!" said Mrs. Morel, cross with the exaggeration,

"It's true, mother--she hasn't," he cried, jumping up and taking his old position on the hearthrug. "She's never read a book in her life."

"'Er's like me," chimed in Morel. "'Er canna see what there is i' books, ter sit borin' your nose in 'em for, nor more can I."

"But you shouldn't say these things," said Mrs. Morel to her son.

"But it's true, mother--she CAN'T read. What did you give her?"

"Well, I gave her a little thing of Annie Swan's. Nobody wants to read dry stuff on Sunday afternoon."

"Well, I'll bet she didn't read ten lines of it."

"You are mistaken," said his mother.

All the time Lily sat miserably134 on the sofa. He turned to her swiftly.

"DID you ready any?" he asked.

"Yes, I did," she replied.

"How much?"

"l don't know how many pages."

"Tell me ONE THING you read."

She could not.

She never got beyond the second page. He read a great deal, and had a quick, active intelligence. She could understand nothing but love-making and chatter. He was accustomed to having all his thoughts sifted135 through his mother's mind; so, when he wanted companionship, and was asked in reply to be the billing and twittering lover, he hated his betrothed.

"You know, mother," he said, when he was alone with her at night, "she's no idea of money, she's so wessel-brained. When she's paid, she'll suddenly buy such rot as marrons glaces, and then I have to buy her season ticket, and her extras, even her underclothing. And she wants to get married, and I think myself we might as well get married next year. But at this rate---"

"A fine mess of a marriage it would be," replied his mother. "I should consider it again, my boy."

"Oh, well, I've gone too far to break off now," he said, "and so I shall get married as soon as I can."

"Very well, my boy. If you will, you will, and there's no stopping you; but I tell you, I can't sleep when I think about it."

"Oh, she'll be all right, mother. We shall manage."

"And she lets you buy her underclothing?" asked the mother.

"Well," he began apologetically, "she didn't ask me; but one morning--and it WAS cold--I found her on the station shivering, not able to keep still; so I asked her if she was well wrapped up. She said: 'I think so.' So I said: 'Have you got warm underthings on?' And she said: 'No, they were cotton.' I asked her why on earth she hadn't got something thicker on in weather like that, and she said because she HAD nothing. And there she is--a bronchial subject! I HAD to take her and get some warm things. Well, mother, I shouldn't mind the money if we had any. And, you know, she OUGHT to keep enough to pay for her season-ticket; but no, she comes to me about that, and I have to find the money."

"It's a poor lookout," said Mrs. Morel bitterly.

He was pale, and his rugged136 face, that used to be so perfectly careless and laughing, was stamped with conflict and despair.

"But I can't give her up now; it's gone too far," he said. "And, besides, for SOME things I couldn't do without her."

"My boy, remember you're taking your life in your hands," said Mrs. Morel. "NOTHING is as bad as a marriage that's a hopeless failure. Mine was bad enough, God knows, and ought to teach you something; but it might have been worse by a long chalk."

He leaned with his back against the side of the chimney-piece, his hands in his pockets. He was a big, raw-boned man, who looked as if he would go to the world's end if he wanted to. But she saw the despair on his face.

"I couldn't give her up now," he said.

"Well," she said, "remember there are worse wrongs than breaking off an engagement."

"I can't give her up NOW," he said.

The clock ticked on; mother and son remained in silence, a conflict between them; but he would say no more. At last she said:

"Well, go to bed, my son. You'll feel better in the morning, and perhaps you'll know better."

He kissed her, and went. She raked the fire. Her heart was heavy now as it had never been. Before, with her husband, things had seemed to be breaking down in her, but they did not destroy her power to live. Now her soul felt lamed20 in itself. It was her hope that was struck.

And so often William manifested the same hatred towards his betrothed. On the last evening at home he was railing against her.

"Well," he said, "if you don't believe me, what she's like, would you believe she has been confirmed three times?"

"Nonsense!" laughed Mrs. Morel.

"Nonsense or not, she HAS! That's what confirmation137 means for her--a bit of a theatrical138 show where she can cut a figure."

"I haven't, Mrs. Morel!" cried the girl--"I haven't! it is not true!"

"What!" he cried, flashing round on her. "Once in Bromley, once in Beckenham, and once somewhere else."

"Nowhere else!" she said, in tears--"nowhere else!"

"It WAS! And if it wasn't why were you confirmed TWICE?"

"Once I was only fourteen, Mrs. Morel," she pleaded, tears in her eyes.

"Yes," said Mrs. Morel; "I can quite understand it, child. Take no notice of him. You ought to be ashamed, William, saying such things."

"But it's true. She's religious--she had blue velvet139 Prayer-Books--and she's not as much religion, or anything else, in her than that table-leg. Gets confirmed three times for show, to show herself off, and that's how she is in EVERYTHING-EVERYTHING!"

The girl sat on the sofa, crying. She was not strong.

"As for LOVE!" he cried, "you might as well ask a fly to love you! It'll love settling on you---"

"Now, say no more," commanded Mrs. Morel. "If you want to say these things, you must find another place than this. I am ashamed of you, William! Why don't you be more manly140. To do nothing but find fault with a girl, and then pretend you're engaged to her! "

Mrs. Morel subsided141 in wrath142 and indignation.

William was silent, and later he repented143, kissed and comforted the girl. Yet it was true, what he had said. He hated her.

When they were going away, Mrs. Morel accompanied them as far as Nottingham. It was a long way to Keston station.

"You know, mother," he said to her, "Gyp's shallow. Nothing goes deep with her."

"William, I WISH you wouldn't say these things," said Mrs. Morel, very uncomfortable for the girl who walked beside her.

"But it doesn't, mother. She's very much in love with me now, but if I died she'd have forgotten me in three months."

Mrs. Morel was afraid. Her heart beat furiously, hearing the quiet bitterness of her son's last speech.

"How do you know?" she replied. "You DON'T know, and therefore you've no right to say such a thing."

"He's always saying these things!" cried the girl.

"In three months after I was buried you'd have somebody else, and I should be forgotten," he said. "And that's your love!"

Mrs. Morel saw them into the train in Nottingham, then she returned home.

"There's one comfort," she said to Paul--"he'll never have any money to marry on, that I AM sure of. And so she'll save him that way."

So she took cheer. Matters were not yet very desperate. She firmly believed William would never marry his Gipsy. She waited, and she kept Paul near to her.

All summer long William's letters had a feverish144 tone; he seemed unnatural145 and intense. Sometimes he was exaggeratedly jolly, usually he was flat and bitter in his letter.

"Ah," his mother said, "I'm afraid he's ruining himself against that creature, who isn't worthy146 of his love--no, no more than a rag doll."

He wanted to come home. The midsummer holiday was gone; it was a long while to Christmas. He wrote in wild excitement, saying he could come for Saturday and Sunday at Goose Fair, the first week in October.

"You are not well, my boy," said his mother, when she saw him. She was almost in tears at having him to herself again.

"No, I've not been well," he said. "I've seemed to have a dragging cold all the last month, but it's going, I think."

It was sunny October weather. He seemed wild with joy, like a schoolboy escaped; then again he was silent and reserved. He was more gaunt than ever, and there was a haggard look in his eyes.

"You are doing too much," said his mother to him.

He was doing extra work, trying to make some money to marry on, he said. He only talked to his mother once on the Saturday night; then he was sad and tender about his beloved.

"And yet, you know, mother, for all that, if I died she'd be broken-hearted for two months, and then she'd start to forget me. You'd see, she'd never come home here to look at my grave, not even once."

"Why, William," said his mother, "you're not going to die, so why talk about it?"

"But whether or not---" he replied.

"And she can't help it. She is like that, and if you choose her--well, you can't grumble," said his mother.

On the Sunday morning, as he was putting his collar on:

"Look," he said to his mother, holding up his chin, "what a rash my collar's made under my chin!"

Just at the junction147 of chin and throat was a big red inflammation.

"It ought not to do that," said his mother. "Here, put a bit of this soothing148 ointment149 on. You should wear different collars."

He went away on Sunday midnight, seeming better and more solid for his two days at home.

On Tuesday morning came a telegram from London that he was ill. Mrs. Morel got off her knees from washing the floor, read the telegram, called a neighbour, went to her landlady150 and borrowed a sovereign, put on her things, and set off. She hurried to Keston, caught an express for London in Nottingham. She had to wait in Nottingham nearly an hour. A small figure in her black bonnet151, she was anxiously asking the porters if they knew how to get to Elmers End. The journey was three hours. She sat in her corner in a kind of stupor152, never moving. At King's Cross still no one could tell her how to get to Elmers End. Carrying her string bag, that contained her nightdress, a comb and brush, she went from person to person. At last they sent her underground to Cannon153 Street.

It was six o'clock when she arrived at William's lodging154. The blinds were not down.

"How is he?" she asked.

"No better," said the landlady.

She followed the woman upstairs. William lay on the bed, with bloodshot eyes, his face rather discoloured. The clothes were tossed about, there was no fire in the room, a glass of milk stood on the stand at his bedside. No one had been with him.

"Why, my son!" said the mother bravely.

He did not answer. He looked at her, but did not see her. Then he began to say, in a dull voice, as if repeating a letter from dictation: "Owing to a leakage155 in the hold of this vessel156, the sugar had set, and become converted into rock. It needed hacking---"

He was quite unconscious. It had been his business to examine some such cargo157 of sugar in the Port of London.

"How long has he been like this?" the mother asked the landlady.

"He got home at six o'clock on Monday morning, and he seemed to sleep all day; then in the night we heard him talking, and this morning he asked for you. So I wired, and we fetched the doctor."

"Will you have a fire made?"

Mrs. Morel tried to soothe158 her son, to keep him still.

The doctor came. It was pneumonia159, and, he said, a peculiar160 erysipelas, which had started under the chin where the collar chafed161, and was spreading over the face. He hoped it would not get to the brain.

Mrs. Morel settled down to nurse. She prayed for William, prayed that he would recognise her. But the young man's face grew more discoloured. In the night she struggled with him. He raved162, and raved, and would not come to consciousness. At two o'clock, in a dreadful paroxysm, he died.

Mrs. Morel sat perfectly still for an hour in the lodging bedroom; then she roused the household.

At six o'clock, with the aid of the charwoman, she laid him out; then she went round the dreary163 London village to the registrar164 and the doctor.

At nine o'clock to the cottage on Scargill Street came another wire:

"William died last night. Let father come, bring money."

Annie, Paul, and Arthur were at home; Mr. Morel was gone to work. The three children said not a word. Annie began to whimper with fear; Paul set off for his father.

It was a beautiful day. At Brinsley pit the white steam melted slowly in the sunshine of a soft blue sky; the wheels of the headstocks twinkled high up; the screen, shuffling165 its coal into the trucks, made a busy noise.

"I want my father; he's got to go to London," said the boy to the first man he met on the bank.

"Tha wants Walter Morel? Go in theer an' tell Joe Ward47."

Paul went into the little top office.

"I want my father; he's got to go to London."

"Thy feyther? Is he down? What's his name?"

"Mr. Morel."

"What, Walter? Is owt amiss?"

"He's got to go to London."

The man went to the telephone and rang up the bottom office.

"Walter Morel's wanted, number 42, Hard. Summat's amiss; there's his lad here."

Then he turned round to Paul.

"He'll be up in a few minutes," he said.

Paul wandered out to the pit-top. He watched the chair come up, with its wagon of coal. The great iron cage sank back on its rest, a full carfle was hauled off, an empty tram run on to the chair, a bell ting'ed somewhere, the chair heaved, then dropped like a stone.

Paul did not realise William was dead; it was impossible, with such a bustle166 going on. The puller-off swung the small truck on to the turn-table, another man ran with it along the bank down the curving lines.

"And William is dead, and my mother's in London, and what will she be doing?" the boy asked himself, as if it were a conundrum167.

He watched chair after chair come up, and still no father. At last, standing beside a wagon, a man's form! the chair sank on its rests, Morel stepped off. He was slightly lame19 from an accident.

"Is it thee, Paul? Is 'e worse?"

"You've got to go to London."

The two walked off the pit-bank, where men were watching curiously168. As they came out and went along the railway, with the sunny autumn field on one side and a wall of trucks on the other, Morel said in a frightened voice:

"'E's niver gone, child?"

"Yes."

"When wor't?"

"Last night. We had a telegram from my mother."

Morel walked on a few strides, then leaned up against a truck-side, his hand over his eyes. He was not crying. Paul stood looking round, waiting. On the weighing machine a truck trundled slowly. Paul saw everything, except his father leaning against the truck as if he were tired.

Morel had only once before been to London. He set off, scared and peaked, to help his wife. That was on Tuesday. The children were left alone in the house. Paul went to work, Arthur went to school, and Annie had in a friend to be with her.

On Saturday night, as Paul was turning the corner, coming home from Keston, he saw his mother and father, who had come to Sethley Bridge Station. They were walking in silence in the dark, tired, straggling apart. The boy waited.

"Mother!" he said, in the darkness.

Mrs. Morel's small figure seemed not to observe. He spoke36 again.

"Paul!" she said, uninterestedly.

She let him kiss her, but she seemed unaware169 of him.

In the house she was the same--small, white, and mute. She noticed nothing, she said nothing, only:

"The coffin170 will be here to-night, Walter. You'd better see about some help." Then, turning to the children: "We're bringing him home."

Then she relapsed into the same mute looking into space, her hands folded on her lap. Paul, looking at her, felt he could not breathe. The house was dead silent.

"I went to work, mother," he said plaintively171.

"Did you?" she answered, dully.

After half an hour Morel, troubled and bewildered, came in again.

"Wheer s'll we ha'e him when he DOEScome?" he asked his wife.

"In the front-room."

"Then I'd better shift th' table?"

"Yes."

"An' ha'e him across th' chairs?"

"You know there---Yes, I suppose so."

Morel and Paul went, with a candle, into the parlour. There was no gas there. The father unscrewed the top of the big mahogany oval table, and cleared the middle of the room; then he arranged six chairs opposite each other, so that the coffin could stand on their beds.

"You niver seed such a length as he is!" said the miner, and watching anxiously as he worked.

Paul went to the bay window and looked out. The ash-tree stood monstrous172 and black in front of the wide darkness. It was a faintly luminous173 night. Paul went back to his mother.

At ten o'clock Morel called:

"He's here!"

Everyone started. There was a noise of unbarring and unlocking the front door, which opened straight from the night into the room.

"Bring another candle," called Morel.

Annie and Arthur went. Paul followed with his mother. He stood with his arm round her waist in the inner doorway. Down the middle of the cleared room waited six chairs, face to face. In the window, against the lace curtains, Arthur held up one candle, and by the open door, against the night, Annie stood leaning forward, her brass candlestick glittering.

There was the noise of wheels. Outside in the darkness of the street below Paul could see horses and a black vehicle, one lamp, and a few pale faces; then some men, miners, all in their shirt-sleeves, seemed to struggle in the obscurity. Presently two men appeared, bowed beneath a great weight. It was Morel and his neighbour.

"Steady!" called Morel, out of breath.

He and his fellow mounted the steep garden step, heaved into the candlelight with their gleaming coffin-end. Limbs of other men were seen struggling behind. Morel and Burns, in front, staggered; the great dark weight swayed.

"Steady, steady!" cried Morel, as if in pain.

All the six bearers were up in the small garden, holding the great coffin aloft. There were three more steps to the door. The yellow lamp of the carriage shone alone down the black road.

"Now then!" said Morel.

The coffin swayed, the men began to mount the three steps with their load. Annie's candle flickered174, and she whimpered as the first men appeared, and the limbs and bowed heads of six men struggled to climb into the room, bearing the coffin that rode like sorrow on their living flesh.

"Oh, my son--my son!" Mrs. Morel sang softly, and each time the coffin swung to the unequal climbing of the men: "Oh, my son--my son--my son!"

"Mother!" Paul whimpered, his hand round her waist.

She did not hear.

"Oh, my son--my son!" she repeated.

Paul saw drops of sweat fall from his father's brow. Six men were in the room--six coatless men, with yielding, struggling limbs, filling the room and knocking against the furniture. The coffin veered175, and was gently lowered on to the chairs. The sweat fell from Morel's face on its boards.

"My word, he's a weight!" said a man, and the five miners sighed, bowed, and, trembling with the struggle, descended176 the steps again, closing the door behind them.

The family was alone in the parlour with the great polished box. William, when laid out, was six feet four inches long. Like a monument lay the bright brown, ponderous177 coffin. Paul thought it would never be got out of the room again. His mother was stroking the polished wood.

They buried him on the Monday in the little cemetery178 on the hillside that looks over the fields at the big church and the houses. It was sunny, and the white chrysanthemums179 frilled themselves in the warmth.

Mrs. Morel could not be persuaded, after this, to talk and take her old bright interest in life. She remained shut off. All the way home in the train she had said to herself : "If only it could have been me! "

When Paul came home at night he found his mother sitting, her day's work done, with hands folded in her lap upon her coarse apron. She always used to have changed her dress and put on a black apron, before. Now Annie set his supper, and his mother sat looking blankly in front of her, her mouth shut tight. Then he beat his brains for news to tell her.

"Mother, Miss Jordan was down to-day, and she said my sketch85 of a colliery at work was beautiful."

But Mrs. Morel took no notice. Night after night he forced himself to tell her things, although she did not listen. It drove him almost insane to have her thus. At last:

"What's a-matter, mother?" he asked.

She did not hear.

"What's a-matter?" he persisted. "Mother, what's a-matter?"

"You know what's the matter," she said irritably, turning away.

The lad--he was sixteen years old--went to bed drearily180. He was cut off and wretched through October, November and December. His mother tried, but she could not rouse herself. She could only brood on her dead son; he had been let to die so cruelly.

At last, on December 23, with his five shillings Christmas-box in his pocket, Paul wandered blindly home. His mother looked at him, and her heart stood still.

"What's the matter?" she asked.

"I'm badly, mother!" he replied. "Mr. Jordan gave me five shillings for a Christmas-box!"

He handed it to her with trembling hands. She put it on the table.

"You aren't glad!" he reproached her; but he trembled violently.

"Where hurts you?" she said, unbuttoning his overcoat.

It was the old question.

"I feel badly, mother."

She undressed him and put him to bed. He had pneumonia dangerously, the doctor said.

"Might he never have had it if I'd kept him at home, not let him go to Nottingham?" was one of the first things she asked.

"He might not have been so bad," said the doctor.

Mrs. Morel stood condemned181 on her own ground.

"I should have watched the living, not the dead," she told herself.

Paul was very ill. His mother lay in bed at nights with him; they could not afford a nurse. He grew worse, and the crisis approached. One night he tossed into consciousness in the ghastly, sickly feeling of dissolution, when all the cells in the body seem in intense irritability182 to be breaking down, and consciousness makes a last flare183 of struggle, like madness.

"I s'll die, mother!" be cried, heaving for breath on the pillow.

She lifted him up, crying in a small voice:

"Oh, my son--my son!"

That brought him to. He realised her. His whole will rose up and arrested him. He put his head on her breast, and took ease of her for love.

"For some things," said his aunt, "it was a good thing Paul was ill that Christmas. I believe it saved his mother."

Paul was in bed for seven weeks. He got up white and fragile. His father had bought him a pot of scarlet and gold tulips. They used to flame in the window in the March sunshine as he sat on the sofa chattering184 to his mother. The two knitted together in perfect intimacy185. Mrs. Morel's life now rooted itself in Paul.

William had been a prophet. Mrs. Morel had a little present and a letter from Lily at Christmas. Mrs. Morel's sister had a letter at the New Year.

"I was at a ball last night. Some delightful186 people were there, and I enjoyed myself thoroughly," said the letter. "I had every dance--did not sit out one."

Mrs. Morel never heard any more of her.

Morel and his wife were gentle with each other for some time after the death of their son. He would go into a kind of daze187, staring wide-eyed and blank across the room. Then he got up suddenly and hurried out to the Three Spots, returning in his normal state. But never in his life would he go for a walk up Shepstone, past the office where his son had worked, and he always avoided the cemetery.

亚瑟·莫瑞尔逐渐长大了。他是一个粗心大意、性情急躁、容易冲动的男孩,极像他的父亲。他讨厌学问,如果他不得不去干活,他就嘟囔半天,而且一有机会,他就溜出去玩。

论外表,他是家中的精华,身材匀称,风度优雅、充满活力,深棕色的头发、红润的脸色,敏锐的深蓝色的眼睛映衬着长长的睫毛,再加上慷慨大方的举止,暴躁的脾气,使他在家中倍受欢迎。但是,当他长大一点之后,他的脾气变的令人捉摸不定了。他无缘无故的大发脾气,粗暴无理,几乎让人不能忍受。

有时候,他深爱着的母亲对他很反感,他只想自己。他想娱乐的时候,他痛恨所有妨碍他的东西,甚至包括母亲。而当他碰到麻烦事时,却哼哼卿卿地对她无休止地哭诉个没完。

有一次,当他抱怨说老师恨他时,母亲说:“天哪!孩子,如果你不想被别人恨,就改了吧;要是不能改变,你就忍着吧。”

他过去爱父亲,父亲也疼爱过他。但现在他开始厌恶父亲了。在他渐渐地长大时,莫瑞尔也开始慢慢地衰弱了。他的身体,过去一举一动都那么优美,如今却萎缩了,似乎不是随着日月而成熟稳重,而是日趋卑鄙和无赖了。每当这个面目可憎的老头对亚瑟呼来喝去时,亚瑟就忍不住要发作。而且,莫瑞尔的举止变的越来越无所顾忌,他的一举一动也让人看不顺眼。孩子们长大了,正处在关键的青春期,父亲对他们的心灵来说是一种丑恶的刺激。他在家里的举止和他在井下和矿工们在一起时一个样,丝毫不变。

“肮脏讨厌的东西!”亚瑟被父亲惹怒的时候,他就会这么大喊着,冲出屋子。而莫瑞尔因为孩子们讨厌他,他就越赌气胡来。惹得孩子们发狂的厌恶和愤怒,莫瑞尔似乎从中得到了一种满足。孩子们在十四、五岁时都特别容易冲动,而亚瑟就是在父亲堕落衰弱的过程中明白事理的,因此最恨他。

有时候,父亲似乎也能感觉到孩子们的那种轻蔑和憎恶。

“再没有人还能像我一样辛辛苦苦地养活你们。”他会大声吼叫。“我为你们费尽心血,为你们操劳,可你们像对待一条狗一样的对待我,告诉你们吧,我再也受不了啦!”

实际上,他们对他并没有那么坏,而他也不是像他说的那么勤奋地工作。如果真是那样,他们倒会同情他的。现在,这几乎成了父亲和孩子们之间的争执,他坚持着自己不良的习惯和令人厌恶的生活方式,以此来表明他是独立不羁的,不受旁人支配的。因而,孩子们更加痛恨他。

最后,亚瑟变的极不耐烦,也极为暴躁。因此,他获得诺丁汉文法中学奖学金后。母亲就决定让他住在城里他的一个妹妹家里。只有周末回家。

安妮仍旧是一所公立学校的低年级教师,每星期挣四先令。不过,她马上就可以每周挣十五先令了,因为她已经通过考试。这样的话,家里的经济将不成问题了。

现在,莫瑞尔太太一心一意扑在保罗身上。他尽管不十分颖悟,却是个非常恬静的孩子。他坚持画他的画,仍然深爱着母亲。他所做的一切事都是为了她。她每天晚上等着他回家,然后把她白天的所思所想一古脑地全告诉给他。他认真地坐在那里听着,两人相依为命,心心相映。

威廉已经和那个皮肤微黑的姑娘订婚了。还花了八几尼给他买了一枚订婚戒指。孩子们对这么大的价钱都咋舌不已。

“八芬尼。”莫瑞尔喊道。

“他真傻!还不如多给我点儿钱倒好。”

“多给你点儿钱!”莫瑞尔太太说道,“为什么要多给你点儿钱。”

她记得他从来没给她买过什么订婚戒指。她倒是更赞同可能有些傻气但不小气的威廉了。但现在这小伙子在信上频频谈起他如何跟未婚妻参加舞会,她穿着多么漂亮有服装,或者兴冲冲谈起他们去戏院时如何打扮得像个头面人物。

他想把姑娘带回家来。莫瑞尔太太认为应该让她在圣诞时来。这一次,威廉没带礼物,只带着这么一位小姐回来的。莫瑞尔太太已经准备好晚饭。听到脚步声,她站起身向门口走去。威廉进来了。

“嗨,妈妈。”他匆匆地吻了她一下,就站到一边,介绍这个高挑的漂亮女孩,她穿着一套质地优良的黑白格于女装,披着毛皮领圈。

“这是吉普赛女郎!”

韦丝特伸出手来,浅浅地笑了一下,微微露出洁白牙齿。

“哦,你好,莫瑞尔太太!”她客气地打招呼。

“恐怕你们都饿了吧?”莫瑞尔太太问。

“没有,我们在火车上吃过饭了。你看到我的手套了吗?宝贝?”

身材高大、骨骼健壮的威廉·莫瑞尔飞快地看了她一眼。

“我怎么会看到呢?”她说。

“那我就丢了,你不要这么粗鲁地对待我。”

他皱了皱眉,但什么也没说。她打量着厨房四周,觉得这间房又小又怪,相片后面装饰着闪光的邀吻树枝和冬青树。摆着几把木椅和小松木桌子。就在这时,莫瑞尔进来了。

“你好,爸爸!”

“你好,儿子,我已经知道你们的事了。”

两人握握手,威廉介绍这位小姐,她同样微露玉齿笑了一下。

“你好,莫瑞尔先生!”

莫瑞尔奉承似地鞠了一躬。

“我很好,我也希望你很好,你千万不要客气。”

“哦,谢谢你。”她回答,心里觉得很有趣。

“如果你不介意我就上楼去,如果太麻烦就算了。”

“不麻烦,安妮带你去。沃尔特,来搬这个箱子。”

“不要打扮太长时间。”威廉对他的未婚妻说。

安妮拿起铜烛台,窘迫的不敢开口,引着这位小姐向莫瑞尔夫妇为她腾出来的前面卧室走去。这间屋子,在烛光下也显的窄小而阴冷。矿工的妻子们只有在得重病的时候才在卧室里生火。“需要我打开箱子吗?”安妮问道。

“哦,太谢谢你了!”

安妮扮演了仆女的角色,接着下楼去端热水。

“我想她一定很累,妈妈。”威廉说:“我们来得很匆忙,一路上也非常辛苦。”

“她需要点什么吗?”莫瑞尔太太问。

“哦!不用,她马上就会好的。”

屋子里的气氛有点叫人寒心。半小时后,韦丝特小姐下楼了,穿着一件紫色的衣服,在矿工的厨房里显得过分的豪华。

“我告诉过你,你不用换衣服。”威廉对他说。

“噢,宝贝!”她说完转过那张甜蜜蜜的笑脸对莫瑞尔太太说:“你不觉得他总是埋怨我吗?莫瑞尔太太?”

“是吗?”莫瑞尔太太说:“那就是他的不对了。”“是的,真是这样!”

“你很冷吧,”母亲说:“要不要靠近火炉坐着?”

莫瑞尔从扶手椅上跳起来。

“来坐这儿。”他说:“来坐这儿。”

“不,爸爸,你自己坐吧。坐在沙发上,吉普。”威廉说。

“不,不,”莫瑞尔大声说,“这把椅子最暖和了,来坐这儿,韦丝特小姐。”

“多谢了。”姑娘说着,坐在矿工的象征着荣誉的扶手椅上,她哆嗦着,感觉到了厨房的温暖渐渐浸入她体内。

“给我拿个手绢来,亲爱的宝贝。”她对他说。嘴巴翘着,那亲呢的样子仿佛只有他们俩人在场,这让家里人觉得他们不应该呆在这里。很显然,这位小姐就没有意识到他们是人。对她来说,现在他们只不过是牲口罢了,威廉局促不安,不知如何是好。

对于斯特里萨姆这样一个家庭来说,韦丝特小姐的光临已经是“屈尊”了。对她来说,这些人确实是下里巴人——简单地说,是工人阶级。她何必约束自己呢?

“我去拿,”安妮说。

韦丝特小姐没有理会,仿佛刚才是一个仆人在说话。不过,当姑娘拿着手帕又下楼来时,她和善地说了句:“哦,谢谢!”

她坐在那里,谈论着火车上吃的那顿饭是那么寒酸,谈论着伦敦,也谈了跳舞。她确实有些紧张,所以不停地说呀说。莫瑞尔一直坐在那里抽那种很烈的手捻的烟卷,一面看着他,听着她那流利的伦敦话,一面不停地吐着烟圈。穿着她最漂亮的黑绸衬衫的莫瑞尔太太,平静而简短地回答着她的话。三个孩子羡慕地坐在一起,什么也不说。韦丝特小姐像是位公主,所有最好的东西都为她拿了出来,最好的杯子,最好的匙子,最好的台布,最好的咖啡壶。孩子们觉得他一定会认为这个场面很气派,而她却觉得很不习惯,不了解这些人,也不知道如何对待他们。威廉开着玩笑,也多少感到有些别扭。

大约10点了,他对她说:“累了吗?吉普?”

“很累,宝贝。”她马上用那种亲热的口气回答道,头稍微偏了一下。

“我去给她点蜡烛,妈妈。”他说。

“很好。”母亲回答道。

韦丝特小姐站了起来,对莫瑞尔太太伸出了手。

“晚安,莫瑞尔太太。”她说。

保罗坐在烧水锅前面,正往一只啤酒瓶里灌热水,安妮把瓶子用下井穿的旧绒布衬衫包好,吻了母亲一下,道了晚安。家里已经没有别的空房了,所以她得跟这位小姐同住一间屋子。

“等一会。”莫瑞尔太太对安妮说。安妮正坐在那儿弄着那只热水瓶。韦丝特小姐与大家—一握手,这让大家很不自在。威廉在前引路,她跟在后边走了。五分钟后,他又下楼。他心里有点恼火,自己也不知道为什么。他没说几句话。直到别人都上了床。只剩下他和妈妈,他才像以前一样,两腿叉开站在炉边地毯上,有些犹犹豫豫地说:“怎么样,妈妈?”

“怎么样,孩子?”

她坐在摇椅上,多少有些为他而伤心和丢脸。

“你喜欢她吗?”

“是的。”她迟迟地回答道。

“她还有些害羞,妈妈。她还不习惯这儿。你知道。这里和她姑妈家里不同。”

“当然了,孩子,她一定觉得很难习惯这儿吧。”

“是的,”他顿时皱眉头,“可她不该摆她的架子!”

“她是初来乍到,有点别扭罢了,孩子,她会好的。”

“是这样的,妈妈。”他感激地回答。不过他还是愁眉不展。“你知道,她不像你,妈妈,她从来严肃不起来,而且她也不肯用脑子。”

“她还年轻,孩子。”

“是的,不过她缺乏家教,很小的时候,她妈妈就去世了,从那以后,她就跟她姑妈住在一起,她姑妈真让她无法容忍。她父亲又是一个败家子。因此,她从没有得到过爱。”

“哦,那么,你应补偿她。”

“因此,你应该在很多方面谅解她。”

“孩子,怎么样谅解她?”

“我不知道。当她显得举止浅薄的时候,你就想想从来没有人教会她深沉的感情。再说,她确实深爱着我。”

“这一点大家都看得出来。”

“但是你知道,妈妈——她和我们不一样,那些人,就是和她生活在一起的那种人,他们好象和我们有不一样的原则。”

“你不必过早地下结论。”莫瑞尔太太说。

看起来,他的内心还是不能轻松。

然而,第三天早晨他起来后,就又开始在屋里唱歌逗乐了。

“喂,”他坐在楼梯上喊:“你起来了吗?”

“起来了。”她轻声应道。

“圣诞快乐!”他大声对她喊着。

卧室里传来她清脆悦耳的笑声,但过去半个小时了,她还在楼上。

“刚才她说起来了,是真的吗?”他问安妮。“是起来了。”安妮回答。

他等了一会儿,又走到楼梯口去。

“新年快乐!”他喊着祝福。

“谢谢,亲爱的!”远处又传来了笑声。

“快点!”他恳求地说。

快一个小时过去了,他还在等她。总是在六点以前就起床的莫瑞尔,看了看钟。

“哦,真奇怪。”他大声说。

除了威廉,全家人都吃过早饭了,他又走到楼梯口。

“在那儿等着我去给你送复活节的彩蛋吗?”他生气地喊道。

她只是哈哈笑着。全家人都想着,经过了这么长时间的准备,一定会有什么奇迹发生。终于,她下来了,穿着一件衬衫,套了一条裙子,漂亮迷人,仪态大方。

“这么长时间,你真的在梳洗打扮吗?”他问。

“亲爱的!这个问题不允许问,对吗?莫瑞尔太太?”

她一开始就扮起贵族小姐的派头。当她和威廉去教堂的时候,威廉穿着大礼服,戴着大礼帽;她穿着伦敦做的服装,披着毛皮领圈。保罗、亚瑟和安妮以为人人见了他们都会羡慕地鞠个躬。而莫瑞尔,穿着他最好的衣服站在路头上,看着这对衣着华贵的人走过去,心里觉得他仿佛是王子的父亲了。

实际上,她并没有那么了不起。她只不过在伦敦一家公司当秘书或办事员,干了有一年。但是,当她和莫瑞尔一家在一起时,她就摆出一副女王的架式。她坐在那里让保罗或安妮服侍她,仿佛他们是她的仆人。她对待莫瑞尔太太也是油腔滑调、随随便便,对莫瑞尔却摆出一副恩赐的架式。不过,过了一两天后,她就改变了她的态度。

威廉总是要保罗或安妮陪他们一起散步,这样更显得兴趣盎然。保罗确实一心一意地崇拜着“吉普赛女郎”,但实际上,母亲几乎不能原谅他对待姑娘的那股谄媚奉承劲儿。

第二天,莉莉说:“哦,安妮,你知不知道我把皮手筒放在哪儿了?”威廉回答:“你明知道皮手筒放在你的卧室里,为什么还要问安妮?”

莉莉却生气的一声不响地上楼去了。她把妹妹当仆人使唤,这让小伙子气愤不已。

第三天的晚上,威廉和莉莉坐在黑暗的起居室炉火旁。十一点差一刻的时候,他们听见莫瑞尔太太在捅炉子,威廉走进厨房,后面跟着他的莉莉。

“已经很晚了,妈妈?”他说,她刚才一直独自坐在那儿。

“不晚,孩子,我平常都坐到这个时候。”

“你要去睡觉吗?”他问。

“留下你们俩?不,孩子,我不放心你们俩。”

“你不相信我们,妈妈?”

“不论我相信不相信,我都不会那么做的。你们高兴的话可以呆到十一点,我可以看会儿书。”

“睡觉去,吉普,”他对姑娘说:“我们不能让妈妈这样等着。”

“安妮还给你留着蜡烛呢,莉莉。”莫瑞尔太太说,“我想你看得见的。”

“是的,谢谢,晚安,莫瑞尔太太。”

威廉在楼梯口吻了他的宝贝,然后,她走了,他呢,又回到厨房。

“你不相信我们,妈妈?”他又说了遍,有点不快。

“孩子,告诉你吧,当大家都睡觉的时候,我不信任你们两个年轻人单独留在楼上。

他只好接受了这个回答,吻了吻母亲,道了晚安。

复活节时,他独自一人回到家,和母亲没完没了地谈论他那个宝贝。

“你知道吗,妈妈,当我离开她的时候,我一点也不在乎她,即便再也见不到她,我也不会在乎。但是,当晚上我和她在一起的时候,我又非常喜欢她了。”

“如果她吸引你的不过是这些的话,”莫瑞尔太太说:“那么,促使你们结婚的那种爱可太不可思议了。”

“这是不可思议!”他大声说,这婚姻使他烦恼不安左右为难。“但是,就我们目前的情况来说,我不能放弃她。”

“你最清楚,”莫瑞尔太太说:“不过要是像所说的这样,我不会把这种感情看作爱情的——总之,这绝不是爱情。”

“哦,我不知道,妈妈,她是个孤儿,而且……”

他们从来争论不出任何结果,他似乎很为难,而且相当恼火。她显得克制而沉默。他全部的精力薪水都花在这个姑娘身上了,回家后,他几乎没钱带母亲去一次诺丁汉。

保罗的工资在圣诞期间升到十先令,这令他喜出望外。他在乔丹工厂干得十分愉快。但他的身体却因为长时间的工作和终日不见阳光而受到影响。他在母亲的生活中占有越来越重要的位置,因此,她千方百计地想为他调剂一下生活。

他的半天休息日在星期一下午。在五月一个星期一的上午,只有他们俩在吃早饭。她说:“我想今天会是一个好天。”

他吃惊地抬头看了看她,寻思话里有什么含义。

“你知道雷渥斯先生搬到了一个新农场去了,嗯,他上上星期还问我愿不愿去看看雷渥斯太太,我答应他如果天气好,就带你星期—一起去,怎么样?”

“哦,好极了,好妈妈。”他欢呼起来,“我们今天下午去。”

保罗兴冲冲地向车站走去。达贝路旁的一棵樱桃树在阳光下闪闪发光,群雕旁的旧砖墙被映成一片深红,春天给大地带来满眼翠绿,在公路拐弯的地方,覆盖着早晨凉爽的尘土,阳光和阴影交织而成美丽的图案,四周沉浸在一片宁静中,景色壮观迷人。树木骄傲地弯下它们宽宽的肩膀,整个早晨,保罗待在仓库里想象着外面的一派春光。

午饭时他回来了,母亲显得很激动。

“我们走吗?”他问。

“我准备好就走。”她回答。

一会儿,他站起身。

“你去收拾打扮,我去洗碗。”他说。

她去了。他洗了锅碗,收拾好后,拿起她的靴子。靴子很干净,莫瑞尔太太是一个生来就极讲究清洁的人,即使在泥浆时走路都不会弄脏鞋子的。但是保罗还是替她擦了一下靴子,这是一双八先令买来的小羊皮靴子,可是在他看来这是世界上最精致的靴子。他擦得小心翼翼的,仿佛它们不是靴,而是娇美的花。

突然,她神色羞怯地出现在里屋门口,身穿一件新衬衫。保罗跳起来迎向前来。

“噢,天哪!”他惊叹起来,“真叫人眼花缘乱!”

她矜持地从鼻子里哼了一声,昂起了头。

“哪里是眼花缭乱!”她回答,“这挺素净的。”

她往前走了几步,他围着她身边转了几圈。

“哎,”她问他,有点不好意思,但又装着矜持的样子,“你喜欢这件衬衫吗?”

“喜欢极了!你真是位外出游玩的好女伴!”

他在她身后上下打量着。

“咳,”他说:“在街上,如果我走在你后面,我会说那个女人在卖弄风骚呢!”

“不过她可没有这样。”莫瑞尔太太回答,“她还不清楚这衣服是不是适合她呢。”

“哦,不!难道她还想穿着那种肮脏的黑颜色,看起来好像裹着一层烧焦的纸。这件衣服太适合你了,而且我认为你看起来漂亮极了。”

她又从鼻子里哼了一下,满心的高兴,但仍装出不以为然的样子。

“但是,”她说:“它只花了我三先令。你不可能买一件价值这么低的成衣,对吧?”

“我的确不行。”他回答。

“而且,你看,这材料。”

“漂亮极了。”他说。

这件衬衣是白色的,上面印有紫红色和黑色的小树枝样的图案。

“不过,恐怕这件衣服对我来说太显年轻了。”她说。

“显的太年轻了!”他生气地喊道,“那你为什么不买些假白发套在头上?”

“不需要,我马上就会有的,”她回答说:“我的头发已经白得多了。”

“得了,你才不会呢,”他说:“为什么我要个白头发的妈妈?”

“恐怕你得委屈一下,孩子。”她神情古怪地说。

他们气气派派地出发了,为了遮阳,她带上威廉送给她的那把伞,保罗个子虽然不高,可比她要高许多,所以他自觉得象男主人似的了不起。

休耕地上那些青青的麦苗柔和地发着光。一缕缕白色的蒸汽飘在敏顿矿井上空,矿井里传来沙哑的“咳咳”声。

“看那边,”莫瑞尔太太说。母子俩站在路上望着,沿着大矿山的山脊,天边有几个影子在慢吞吞地挪动着,是一匹马,一辆小货车和一个男人。他们正往斜坡上爬,头似乎都挨着了天。最后,那个男人把货车倒立,垃圾从大矿坑的陡坡上滚了下去,发出一阵响声。

“你坐一会吧,妈妈。”他说。她在堤上坐了下来,他则迅速地画起素描来。她默默地欣赏周围的午后景色,看着那在绿色树林掩隐着的红色农舍,在太阳光下闪烁。

“世界真奇妙,”她赞道,“太美了。”

“矿井也一样,”他说,“看,它们高高耸起,简直像活的什么东西——叫不上名字的庞然大物。”

“是的,”她说。“可能有些像。”

“还有那么多卡车停在那等着,就像一群等着喂食的牲口。”他说。

“感谢上帝,它们停在那儿,”她说,“这就意味着这个星期还能挣点钱。”

“不过,我喜欢从东西的运动中去体味人的感觉。从卡车上就可以体味到人的感觉,因为人的手操纵过它们。”

“是的,”莫瑞尔太太说。

他们沿着道旁的树荫行进着。他滔滔不绝地对她说着,她津津有味的听着。他们走到尼瑟梅尔河尽头,阳光像花瓣一样轻轻撒在山坳里。然后,他们又转向一条僻静的路,一只狗气势汹汹地吠叫着。一个女人张望着迎了出来。

“这是不是去威利农场的路?”莫瑞尔太太问。

保罗害怕别人冷遇他们,躲在母亲后面。但这个女人十分和蔼,给他们指了方向。母子俩穿过小麦地和燕麦地,跨越一座小桥,来到一片荒野地里。那些白色胸脯的发着光的红嘴鸥,尖叫着绕着他们盘旋,蓝蓝的湖水一泓宁静,高空中一只苍鹭飞过,对面树林覆盖的小山,也是一片寂静。

“这是一条荒路,妈妈。”保罗说:“就像在加拿大。”

“这很美,不是吗?”莫瑞尔太太说着,了望着四周。

“看那只苍鹭——看——看见它的腿了吗?”

他指点着母亲什么应该看一看,什么用不着看。她十分乐意让儿子指指点点。

“但是现在,我们应该走哪条路呢?”她问:“他告诉我应该穿过一片树林。”

这片树林就在他们左边。用篱笆圈着,显得黑沉沉的。

“我觉得这儿可能会有条小路,”保罗说:“不管怎么说,你好像只习惯走城里的路。”

他们找到一扇小门,进去不久就踏上了一条宽宽的翠绿的林间小路。路的一旁是新生的杉树和松树。另一旁是长着老橡树的很陡的林间空地,橡树间,一片绿色蓝色池水般的风珍草,长在落满了橡树叶的浅黄褐色的土地上,长在长满了新枝的榛树下。他为她采了几朵勿忘我。看见她那双辛勤劳作的手举着他给她的那一小束花,他又一次心里充满了怜爱,而她也欣喜得不能自己。

在这条路的尽头,需要爬过一道栅栏。保罗毫不费力的一下子跳过去了。

“快来,”他说,“我帮你。”

“不用,走开,我自己行。”

他站在下边,伸出双臂准备帮她,她小心翼翼地翻了过来。

“看你翻的那副样子!”当她安然着地后,他大声笑着。

“讨厌的台阶!”她骂了一句。

“没用的小女人,”他回答道,“连这都翻不过来。”

前面,就在这片树林边上,有一片红色的低矮的农场建筑。俩人赶紧向前走去。旁边就是苹果园,苹果花纷纷扬扬地落到磨石上。树篱下有个很深的池塘。被几棵棕树掩隐起来,树荫下有几头母牛。农场的房屋有三面都冲着阳光,宁静极了。

母子俩走进了这个有篱笆栏杆的小院子,院里飘散着一股红紫罗兰的幽香。几只面包放在敞开的门口旁边凉着,一只母鸡飞过来啄面包,一个围着脏围裙的女孩子突然出现在门口,她大约十四岁,脸蛋黑里透红,短短的黑卷发自然地飘落着,美极了。一双黑眼睛对着进来的陌生人害羞、疑惑,还略带惊奇地望着,她又躲进去了。不一会,又出来一个瘦弱的矮个女人,红润的脸庞,有一对深棕色的大眼睛。

“噢!”她微笑着惊呼起来,“你们来了,哦,我很高兴看见你们。”她的声音很亲热,却略带感伤。

两个女人握了握手。

“我们真的不会打扰你吗?”莫瑞尔太太说,“我知道农场生活非常忙。”

“哦,哪里话,能看到一张新面孔我们就感激不尽了,我们这里几乎没有人来。”

“我也这么想。”莫瑞尔太太说。

他们被带到会客室——一间又长又低的屋子,壁炉边上插着一大束绣球花。保罗趁她们两个聊天的时候,到外面看了看田园景色。他站在院子里闻着花香,看着那些农作物,那个女孩子又匆匆出来,往篱笆边上的煤堆走去。

他指着栅栏边的灌木丛对她说,“我觉得这是重瓣蔷薇吧?”

她用那双受惊的棕色大眼睛望着他。

“我想这花开了该是重瓣蔷薇吧?”他说。

“我不知道,”她支支吾吾地说,“它们是白色的,中间是粉红色的。”

“那就是女儿红了。”

米丽亚姆脸色通红,是那种美丽动人的颜色。

“我不知道。”她说。

“你家的院子里也不太多。”他说。

“我们今年才住到这儿的。”她回答道,有些疏远和高傲。说着,她退了几步进屋去了。他也没在意,继续四处逛着。一会儿,他母亲出来了,他们一起参观着这里的建筑,这让保罗乐不可支。

“我想,你们还养着家禽、小牛或猪啊什么的吧?”莫瑞尔大大问着雷渥斯太太。

“没有,”那个小个子女人说,“我没时间喂养牛,而且我也不习惯干这活,我所能干的就是管家。”

“哦,我想也是。”莫瑞尔太太说。

一会儿,那个女孩子又跑了出来。

“茶准备好了,妈妈。”她地声音平静,像音乐一般动听。

“哦,谢谢你,米丽亚姆,我们马上就来。”她妈妈回答,几乎有点讨好的意味。“现在我们去喝茶行吗,莫瑞尔太太?”

“当然可以,”莫瑞尔太太说,“什么时候都行。”

保罗、妈妈,还有雷渥斯太太一起喝了茶。之后他们来到了树林,那里满山遍野风信子。小路上密密麻麻的全是毋忘我,母子俩都深深地被吸引住了。

当他们回到屋子里的时候,雷渥斯先生和大儿子埃德加已经在厨房里了。埃德加大约十八岁。接着杰弗里和莫里斯,一个十二岁,一个十三岁,从学校回来了。雷渥斯先生是位英俊的中年男子,留着金褐色的小胡子,一双蓝眼睛总是像在提防什么似的眯着。

男孩子们一副屈尊俯就的态度,不过,保罗倒没有注意到。他们到处寻找鸡蛋,四处乱钻乱爬。此刻他们正在喂鸡,米丽亚姆出来了。男孩子们也不理她,一只母鸡和几只淡黄色的小鸡关在一个笼里,莫里斯抓了一把谷子,让鸡在他手里啄食着。

“你敢这样吗?”他问保罗。

“让我试试。”保罗说。

他有一双温暖的小手,看起来就很灵巧。米丽亚姆也看着。他拿着谷子伸到母鸡面前,母鸡用它那敏锐发亮的眼睛看了一下谷子,突然在他手上啄了一下,他吃了一惊,随即笑了起来。“笃、笃、笃!”鸡在他手掌上接连啄了几下,他又笑了,那些男孩子们也笑了起来。

谷子喂完后,保罗说:“鸡碰你、啄你,但决不会伤你的。”

“好,米丽亚姆,”莫里斯说,“你来试试。”

“不。”她叫起来,往后退了几步。

“哈,小娃娃,娇气鬼!”她的兄弟们讥笑着说。

“它根本不会伤你的,”保罗说:“它只是很舒服地啄啄你。”

“不!”她仍然尖声叫着,摇着她黑色的卷发往后退。

“她不敢,”杰弗里说,“除了朗诵诗,她什么都不敢干。”

“不敢从栅栏往下跳,不敢学鸟叫,不敢上滑梯,不敢阻止别的女孩子打她,除了走来走去自以为是个人物外,她什么都不敢。‘湖上夫人’,嗨呀!”莫里斯大声说。

米丽亚姆又羞又怒,脸上涨得通红。

“我敢做的事比你们多。”她叫道,“你们只不过是一些胆小鬼和恶棍!”

“哦,胆小鬼和恶棍!”他们装模作样地学了一遍,取笑她的话。

“笨蛋想惹我生气,

不吭一声气死你!”

他们引用了她的诗攻击她,笑着喊着。

她进屋去了。保罗和男孩子们去了果园,他们在那儿胡乱支了个双杠,几个人玩着锻炼了一阵。保罗的身体虽不很结实,却十分灵活,正好在这儿显一手。这时他摸了摸在树上摇晃不停的一朵苹果花。

“不许摘苹果花,”大哥埃德加说,“要不明年就不结果了。”

“我不会摘的。”保罗回答着,走开了。

男孩子们对他非常不友好,他们喜欢自己玩。于是他就散步回去找母亲。当他绕到屋子后面时,发现米丽亚姆正跪在鸡笼前面,手里捧了点五米,咬着嘴唇,紧张地弯着身子,母鸡似乎不太友好地看着她。她战战兢兢地伸出了手,母鸡向她伸过头来,她尖叫了一声,迅速收回了手,又害怕又懊恼。

“不会伤你的。”保罗说。

她满脸通红,站了起来。

“我只是想试试。”她低声说。

“看,一点都不疼。”他说着,又在手掌上放了两颗玉米,让母鸡啄去,接着母鸡在他空空的手掌上啄啊啄,“这会啄得你直想笑。”他说。

她伸出手来,又缩了回去,又伸出手来,但又惊叫着缩了回来。他皱了下眉头。

“其实,我可以让鸡在我脸上啄玉米。”保罗说,“它只不过轻轻碰你一下罢了。鸡特别干净,如果不干净的话,它也不会每天啄干净地上的许多东西。”

他耐心而又固执地等着,注视着她。最后,米丽亚姆终于让鸡在她手上啄谷子了,她轻轻地叫了一声——害怕,又因为害怕而觉得疼痛——一副十分可怜的样子。不过她总算做到了,接着她又试了一下。

“怎么样,你看,一点也不疼吧?”保罗说。

她睁着黑黑的眼睛望着他。

“不疼。”她笑着说,身子有点发抖。

接着,她站起身进了屋,她似乎有点厌恶保罗。

“他觉得我只不过是个普普通通的女孩。”她心里想着,她想证明自己实际上像“湖上夫人”一样了不起。

保罗看到母亲已经准备回家了,她对儿子微微笑了笑,他拿起了那一大束花。雷渥斯夫妇陪着他们走过田地,小山在暮色中变成了金黄色,树林深处露出暗紫色的野风信子。到处一片寂静,只有树林沙沙声和小鸟婉转和鸣。

“这地方太美了。”莫瑞尔太太说。

“没错。”雷渥斯先生说,“如果不是野兔捣乱的话,这里是片挺好的小草地,牧草都被野兔啃得光光的。我都不知道我能不能付得起租钱。”

他拍了拍手,靠近树林的田地里应声跳出许多褐色的兔子,四处逃窜着。

“真让人难以相信!”莫瑞尔太太惊呼。

然后,母子俩独自向前走去。

“这是一个很可爱的地方,对吧,妈妈?”他平静地问。

一弯新月冉冉地升了起来。他的心里几乎容纳不下这么多欢乐了。母亲也高兴得几乎想哭,只好不停地说着。

“我真希望我能帮帮那个男人!”她说,“我真希望我能够常常看到那些家禽和家畜!我也想学着挤牛奶,跟他聊天,帮他出谋划策。哎呀,如果我是他的妻子,这农场一定会发达起来,我知道!但是,她没有这份精力——她根本没有这份精力。你知道,她也决不应该承担这一切,我为她难过,我也为他难过。哎呀,如果我有这样一个丈夫,我决不会认为他是一个坏蛋。当然,她也没这么认为,而且她也很可爱。”

降灵节期间,威廉又带着他的意中人回来了。他有一个星期的假期。那些日子,天气也不错。像往常一样,清晨,威廉、莉莉和保罗一起出去散步。威廉除了给莉莉讲点自己小时候的事以外,就不大跟她说话。保罗却不停地对他俩说着。他们三人躺在敏顿教堂的一片草地上,紧靠着城堡农场那边是一排摇曳多姿美丽的白杨树;山楂从树篱上垂了下来,铜钱一样大的雏菊和仙翁花开满田地,朵朵花像绽开的笑脸。威廉,这位已经23岁的大小伙子,这阵子消瘦了许多,甚至有些。瞧淬,躺在那里梦想着什么,莉莉正在抚摸着他的头发。保罗跑去采那些朵朵雏菊了。她摘下帽子,露出马鬃似的黑发。保罗回来后把雏菊插到她的黑发上——大朵大朵亮闪闪的白色和黄色的菊花,还有几朵粉色的仙翁花。

“现在你看上去像一个年轻的女巫了。”男孩对她说:“对不对,威廉?”

莉莉大笑起来。威廉睁开眼睛看着她,他的目光里掺杂着痛苦和一种极为欣赏的神情。

“他把我打扮得怪模怪样了吗?”她笑着低头问她的情人。

“是的。”威廉微笑着说。

他看着她,她的美丽似乎伤害了他。他瞥了一眼她插满鲜花的脑袋,皱起了眉头。

“你真漂亮,这就是你想要我说的话。”他说。

她没有戴帽子,向前走去。过了一会,威廉清醒过来,又对她温柔起来。走过一座桥时,他把她和她的名字缩写成了心的形状。

分手的时候,她看着他那双长满亮闪闪的汗毛和斑点的刚劲有力的手,似乎被这双手迷住了。

威廉和莉莉呆在家的这段日子里,家里总是有一种凄凉感伤,但又温暖柔情的气氛。不过,他常常会发火。因为在这只住短短的八天,莉莉竟带了五条裙子,六件衬衫。

“哦,你能不能,”她问安妮,“帮我洗一下这两件衬衣和这些东西?”

第二天早晨,威廉和莉莉又要出去时,安妮却站在那儿洗衣服。莫瑞尔太太大为恼火。有时,这个年轻人看到自己心爱的人竟用这种态度对待自己的妹妹,也忿恨不已。

星期天早晨,她穿了一件丝一般的印花薄软绸拖地长裙,长裙像樱鸟的羽毛一样蓝,戴着一顶奶油色的大帽子,上面插了好几朵深红色的玫瑰花,美丽极了,大家都对她赞赏不已。但是到了晚上,临出门前,她又问:

“亲爱的,你拿了我的手套了吗?”

“哪一双?”威廉问。

“我新买的小山羊皮黑手套。”

“没拿。”

到处搜寻了一番,连手套的影子都没有找到,她把手套丢了。

“瞧,妈妈,”威廉说,“自从圣诞节后,她已经丢了四双手套了——一双要五先令呢!”

“可只有两双是你给我买的。”她不服气地说。

晚上吃过饭后,他站在炉边地毯那儿,她坐在沙发上。他似乎有点讨厌她。下午他就没理她,自己去看一些老朋友,她就一直坐在那儿看书。晚饭后,威廉想写封信。

“这是你的书,莉莉,”莫瑞尔太太说,“你可能还想再看一会儿吧?”

“不了,谢谢你。”姑娘说,“我就这么坐会儿。”

“这样太无聊了。”

威廉急躁地以极快的速度写着信。在他封信时说道:

“还看书呢!哼,她一辈子从来没看过一本书。”

“哦,走开!”莫瑞尔太太听到他夸张的言词有些不满。

“这是真的,——她没看过。”他大声说着,跳起来又站在他的老地方——炉边地毯上。“她一辈子都没有看过一本书。”

“她和我一样。”莫瑞尔赞同地说,“坐在那儿看半天,她也不明白书上到底讲了些什么,我也一样。”

“但你不应该这么说。”莫瑞尔太太对儿子说。

“这是真的,妈妈——她看不懂书。你给她是什么书?”

“哦,我给她一本安妮·斯旺写的小说。没人愿意在星期天下午看枯燥的东西。”

“好,我打赌她念了不到十行。”

“你弄错了。”他妈妈说。

这段时间,莉莉可怜兮兮地坐在沙发上,他突然转过身来。

“你看了那本书吗?”他问。

“是的,我看了。”她回答。

“看了多少?”

“我也不知道有多少页。”

“把你看过的说点给我听听。”

她说不出来。

她连第二页都没念到。威廉却看过很多书,有一个聪明机灵的头脑。她除了谈情说爱,聊天,什么也不懂。他习惯于和母亲交流自己的想法。他需要的是志同道合的伴侣,而他的未婚妻却要他做一个能付帐单和喊喊喳喳说笑的情夫,因此他不禁对未婚妻产生了深深的厌恶。

“你知道吗,妈妈,”晚上他和母亲单独在一起地,他说,“她连一点省钱的意思都没有,头脑简单,胡乱花钱。她拿到工资时,她就立刻买那些不是必需的蜜饯栗子吃,结果我不得不给她买季票,买必需的零零碎碎的东西,甚至连内衣裤也得我买。而且她想结婚,我自己也认为我们还是最好明年办事情。但现在这个样子……”

“这个样子就急着结婚,简直太糟糕了。”母亲回答。“我还得再考虑一下,孩子。”

“哦,算了,现在跟她断绝关系是不可能的。”他说,“所以我要尽快结婚。”

“好吧,孩子,如果你愿意,那就行、没人会阻拦你。不过我告诉你,一想起这桩婚事,我就彻夜难眠。”

“哦,她会好起来的,妈妈,我们将设法克服。”

“她让你给她买内衣裤的吗?”母亲问。

“嗯,”他有点歉意地说,“她没问我要,但是有天早晨——是个很冷的早晨——我发现她站在车站时直发抖,冻得站不住了。于是,我问她,她穿的衣服够不够,她说:‘我觉得够了。’我说,‘你穿没穿暖和的内衣内裤?’她说,‘没有,内衣内裤是棉布的。’我问到底为什么在这种天气里不穿厚点的内衣内裤,她说是因为她没钱。她就这样熬着,得了支气管炎!我不得不带她去买厚一点的内衣内裤。妈妈,如果我们有钱,我也不会在乎的。但是你知道,她至少应该把买季票的钱留下来。但是没有,她来问我要钱买。我只好想办法去找钱。”

“你们的前景可是不太妙啊。”莫瑞尔太太有些悲观地说。

他脸色苍白,那张粗犷的脸以前总是什么都不在乎,永远笑嘻嘻的,现在却是满脸的惆怅和失望。

“但是现在我不能放弃她,我陷得太深了。”他说,“而且,有些事情我离不了她。”

“孩子,记住你可要自己把握自己的生活。”莫瑞尔太太说,“没有什么事再比一个没有前途的婚姻更糟糕了。我的婚姻已经够糟糕了,天知道我应该给你一些教训,可也说不准,也许你的婚姻要比我的还要糟糕许多倍。”

他斜倚着壁炉架,双手插在口袋里,他是一个身材高大,骨瘦如柴的人,看上去似乎如果他愿意,踏遍天涯海角,在所不辞。可是此刻她从他脸上看出了悲观失望的神情。

“我现在不能放弃她。”他说。

“可是,”她说:“记住还有别的事比解除婚姻更糟呢。”

“现在,我不能放弃她。”

闹钟嘀嘀嗒嗒地走着。母子俩沉默不语,他们之间有冲突,不过他不再说话了。最后,她说:

“好了,去睡吧,孩子,明天早晨你就会感觉好点,也许会更清醒些。”

他吻了她一下,走了。她捅了捅炉子,心情似乎从来没有这么沉重过。过去,和丈夫在一起的岁月,她只觉得内心的希望化为泡影,可是还没有丧失生活的勇气。而现在,她感到心力焦淬,她的希望又受到沉重的打击。

此后,威廉常常表现出对未婚妻的深恶痛绝。在家的最后一个晚上,他又在抱怨她。

“好吧,”他说,“如果你不相信她是什么样的人,那你信不信她受过三次宗教坚信礼?”

“胡说!”莫瑞尔太太大笑起来。

“不管是不是胡说,她确实是这样。坚信礼对她来说——是她大出风头的戏场。”

“我没有,莫瑞尔太太,”女孩子叫了起来——“我没有,这不是真的。”

“什么!”他大喊着,猛地向她转过身来,“一次在布隆利,一次在肯肯罕,还有一次在别的什么地方。”

“再没有什么别的地方!”她说着,哭了,“再没有别的什么地方!”

“有的!就算没有,那你为什么行两次坚信礼?”

“有一次我才十四岁,莫瑞尔太太。”她含着眼泪辩解着。

“噢,”莫瑞尔太太说,“我完全理解,孩子,别理他。威廉,说出这样的话你应该感到羞愧!”

“但这是真的。她信仰宗教——她过去有本蓝天鹅绒面的祈祷书——但是,她内心的宗教信仰都不比这条桌子腿强多少,她行了三次坚信礼,那只是为了表现,为了显示自己。这就是她对一切的态度——一切!”

姑娘坐在沙发上,哭了,她生性软弱。

“至于爱情!”他叫道,“你最好还是叫只苍蝇去爱你吧,它会喜欢叮在你身上的……!”

“好了,别再说了,”莫瑞尔太太下命令了,“如果你要说的话就找个别的地方说去吧。威廉,我都为你感到羞愧!为什么不表现出男子汉的气概?干别的什么都不行,专找姑娘的岔,还说是同她订了婚!”

莫瑞尔太太气极败坏地坐下来。

威廉不吭声了,后来,他似乎后悔了,吻着姑娘,安慰她。不过他说的是真话。他厌恶她。

他们就要离家的时候,莫瑞尔太太陪他们到了诺丁汉。还有很长一段路才能到凯斯顿车站。

“你知道,妈妈,”他对她说,“吉普是个肤浅的人,心里不会思考你任何事。”

“威廉,我希望你别说这些事。”莫瑞尔太太说,她真为走在她旁边的姑娘感到难过。

“这又怎么了,妈妈,现在她非常爱我。但如果我死了,要不了三个月她就会把我忘到九霄云外去。”

莫瑞尔太太感到可怕极了,听到儿子最后那句痛快的话,她的心狂跳起来,久久不能平静。

“你怎么知道?”她说,“你不知道,就没有权利说这种话。”

“他常常说这样的话。”姑娘大声嚷嚷。

“我死后,下葬不到三个月,你准会另有新欢,把我忘了,”他说,“这就是你的爱情。”

在诺丁汉,莫瑞尔太太看着他们上了火车,才往家走。

“有一点可让人放心,”她对保罗说,“他永远不会有钱来结婚,这点我肯定,这样的话,她反而救了他。”

于是,她开始感到宽慰。事情还没有发展到不可挽救的地步。她坚信威廉不会娶吉普的。她等待着,并把保罗拴在身边。

整个夏天,威廉的来信都流露出一种发狂的情绪。他好象和往常截然不同,像换了个人似的。有时候,他会高兴得有些夸张,而有时,他的信的语调平淡而感伤。

“唉,”母亲说,“恐怕他会为这个女人而毁了自己,她根本不值得他爱——不值,她只不过是个洋娃娃罢了。”

他想回家,可是暑假已经过了,而离圣诞还有很长一段时间。他写信激动地说,他要在十月份的第一个星期,鹅市时回家来度周末。

“你身体不太好,孩子。”母亲一看到他时就这么说。

她又回到了母亲身边,这使她感动得几乎要流泪了。

“是的,我这一段时间一直不太好。”他说,“上个月我感冒了,一直拖到现在还好不了。不过,我想快好了。”

十月的天气阳光灿烂,他似乎欣喜若狂,像个逃学的学生。但,随后他就更加变得沉默了。他比以前更清瘦了,眼里流露一种燃淬的神情。

“你工作太辛苦了。”母亲对他说。

说是为了挣钱结婚,他加班加点地工作。他只在星期六晚上跟母亲谈到过一次未婚妻,言谈之中充满伤感和怜惜。

“但是,你知道吗,妈妈,虽然我们现在这样,可是如果我死了,她最多只会伤心两个月,之后,她就会忘了我的。你会看到,她决不会回家来看看我的坟墓,连一次都不会。”

“哦,威廉,”母亲说,“你又不会死去,为什么要说这个?”

“但不管怎样……”他回答。

“她也没有办法,她就是那种人,既然你选择了她——那么,你就不能抱怨。”母亲说。

星期天早晨,他要戴上硬领时:

“看,”他对他妈妈说,翘着下巴,“我的领子把下巴磨成什么样子了!”

就在下巴和喉咙之间有一大块红肿块。

“不应该这样啊,”母亲说,“来,擦上点止痛膏吧。你应该换别的领子了。”

他在星期天的半夜走了,在家呆了两天,他看上去好了些,也好象坚强了些。

星期二早晨,一封从伦敦来的电报说他病了。当时莫瑞尔太太正跪在那儿擦地板,读完电报后,她跟邻居打了个招呼,找房东太太借了一个金镑,穿戴好后就走了。她急匆匆地赶到凯顿车站,在诺丁汉等了近一个小时,搭了一辆特快列车去了伦敦。她戴着她黑色的帽子,矮矮的身材焦急地走来走去,问搬运工怎样到艾尔默斯区。这次旅程的三个小时,她神色迷茫地坐在车厢角落里,一动不动。到了皇家岔口,还是没人知道怎么去艾尔默斯区。她提着装着她的睡衣、梳子、刷子的网兜,逢人便打听,终于,有人告诉她乘地铁到坎农街。

当她赶到威廉的住处时已经六点了,百叶窗还没拉下来。

“他怎么样了?”她问道。

“不太好。”房东太太说。

她跟着那个女人上了楼。威廉躺在床上,眼里充满血丝,面无血色,衣服扔得满地都是,屋里也没生火。一杯牛奶放在床边,没有一个人陪他。

“啊,我的孩子!”母亲鼓起勇气说。

他没有回答,只是望着她,可是好象并没有看到她一样。过了一会儿,他开始说话了,声音模糊不清,好象是在口授一封信:“由于该船货舱漏报,糖因受潮结块,急需凿碎……”

他已经没有知觉了。在伦敦港检验船上装的糖是属于他份内的工作。

“他这样已多久了?”母亲问房东太太。

“星期一早晨他是六点钟回来的,他好象睡了一整天。然后到了晚上我们听到他说胡话了。今天早晨他要找你来,因此我拍了电报,我们还请了一个医生。”

“能帮忙生个火吗?”

莫瑞尔太大努力地安慰儿子,想让他平静下来。

医生来了,他说这是肺炎,而且还中了很特殊的丹毒,丹毒从硬领磨烂的下巴开始,已经扩散到脸部,他希望不要扩大到脑子里。

莫瑞尔太太住下来照顾他。她为威廉祈祷,祈祷他能再认出她来。但是这个年轻人的脸色越来越苍白。晚上,她和他一起同病魔斗争着。他颠三倒四地乱说一气,始终没有恢复知觉。到半夜两点时,病情突然恶化了,他死了。

莫瑞尔太太在这间租来的房子里像石头一样静静地坐了将近一小时,然后,她唤醒左右邻居。

清早六点,在打杂女工的帮助下,她安置好威廉的尸体。然后,她穿行在阴郁的伦敦村去找户籍官和医生。

九点钟,斯卡吉尔街的这间小屋里又接到了一封电报。

“威廉夜亡,父带钱来。”

安妮、保罗、亚瑟都在家,莫瑞尔上班去了。三个孩子一句话也没说,安妮害怕地呜咽起来,保罗去找父亲。

那一天,天气晴朗明媚,布林斯利矿井的白色蒸汽在柔和的蓝天阳光下慢慢地融化了,吊车的轮子在高处闪光,筛子正往货车上送着煤,弄出一片嘈杂声。

“我找我爸爸,他得去伦敦。”孩子在井口碰见第一个人后就说。

“你找沃尔斯特·莫瑞尔吧?去那边告诉乔·沃德。”

保罗走到顶部那间小小的办公室。

“我找我爸爸,他得去伦敦。”

“你爸爸?他在井下吗?他叫什么?”

“莫瑞尔先生。”

“什么,莫瑞尔,出什么事啦?”

“他得去伦敦。”

那人走到电话旁,摇通了井底办公室。

“找沃尔斯特·莫瑞尔,42号,哈特坑道。家里出什么事了,他的孩子在这儿。”

然后他转身对着保罗。

“他马上就上来。”他说。

保罗漫步走到井口顶上,看着罐座托着运煤车升了上来。那只巨大的罐笼停稳后,满满一车煤被拖了出来,另一节空煤车被推上罐座,不知什么地方响起了铃声,罐座猛地动了一下,像石头一样飞速跌落下去。

保罗无法接受威廉已经死了,这是不可能的,这儿不是依然热热闹闹的吗?装卸工把小货车搬到了转台上,另外一个工人推着货车沿着弯弯曲曲的井口铁轨向前跑去。

“威廉死了,妈妈去了伦敦,她在那儿干什么呢?”孩子问着自己,仿佛这是一个猜不透的谜。

他看着一只接一只的罐笼升了起来,可就是没有父亲。终于,在运煤车旁,他看到一个男人的身影。罐笼停稳后,莫瑞尔走来了。由于上次事故,他的腿稍微有点瘸。

“是你,保罗?他更严重了吗?”

“你得去趟伦敦。”

两人离开矿井,好多人好奇地看着他们。他们走出矿区,沿着铁路向前走去。一边是沐浴秋天阳光的田野,一边是像墙一样的长列货车。莫瑞尔有些惊恐地问:

“他没死吧,孩子?”

“死了。”

“什么时候死的?”

“昨天晚上,我们接到妈妈的电报。”

莫瑞尔走了几步,斜靠在一辆卡车旁,双手蒙着眼睛,他没有哭。保罗站在那里,张望着四周等他。一架过磅机上,一辆货车慢慢开过。保罗望着周围的一切,就是回避不看似乎累了斜靠在煤车上的父亲。

莫瑞尔以前去过一次伦敦。他动身去帮妻子,心里害怕,神情憔悴。那一天是星期二,孩子们留在家里。保罗去上班,亚瑟去上学,安妮有一位朋友陪着她。

星期六晚上,保罗从休斯顿回家,刚拐过弯,他就看到从塞斯利桥车站回来的父母。他们在黑暗中无言地走着,精疲力尽,两人拉开一大截距离,保罗等着。

“妈妈!”他在黑暗中喊了一声。

莫瑞尔太太瘦小的身躯似乎没有反应。他又叫一声。

“保罗!”她应道,仍是十分漠然的样子。

她让他吻了一下,但她似乎对他没有感觉。

回到家里,她依旧是那副神情——愈发矮小,面色苍白,一声不响。她对什么都不在意,对什么都不过问,只是说:

“棺材今天晚上就运到这儿了,沃尔特,你最好找人帮帮忙。”然后,转过身来对孩子说,“我们把他运回来了。”

说完她又恢复了那种一言不发的状态,两眼茫然地看着屋里的空间,两手交叠放在大腿上。保罗看着她,觉得自己气都喘不过来了,屋里死一般的寂静。

“我上班了,妈妈。”他痛楚地说。

“是吗?”她回答,神情阴郁。

半小时后,莫瑞尔烦恼不安,手足无措地又进来了。

“他来了,我们应该把他放在哪儿?”他问妻子。

“放在前屋里。”

“那我还得搬掉桌子吧?”

“嗯”

“把他放在椅子上?”

“你知道放在那儿——对,我也这样想。”

莫瑞尔和保罗拿了支蜡烛,走进了客厅,里面没有煤气灯。父亲把那张桃花木的大圆桌的桌面拧了下来,空出屋子中间,又找来六把椅子面对面地排着,准备放棺材。

“从来没见过他这么高的人!”这个矿工说,边干活边焦急地张望着。

保罗走到凸窗前,向外望着,夜色朦胧,那株白蜡树怪模怪样地站在黑暗之中。保罗回到母亲身边。

十点钟,莫瑞尔喊道:

“他来了!”

大家都吃了一惊。前门传来一阵开锁取门闩的声音。门开处,夜色涌进屋内。

“再拿一支蜡烛来。”莫瑞尔喊道。

安妮和亚瑟去了。保罗陪着母亲,一手扶着母亲的腰站在里屋门口。在这间干干净净的屋子里,六张椅子面对面的已经摆好了。窗边,亚瑟靠着花边窗帘,举着一支蜡烛。在敞开的门口,安妮背对着黑夜,向前探身。站在那里,手里的铜烛台发着光。

一阵车轮声。保罗看见外面黑漆漆的街上几匹马拉着一辆黑色的灵车,上面是一盏灯,两侧是几张惨白的脸。接着,几个男人,都是只穿着衬衫的矿工,好象在拼命用力。一会儿,两个男人出现了,他们抬着沉重的棺材,腰都压弯了。这是莫瑞尔和一个邻居。

“抬稳了!”莫瑞尔上气不接下气地说。

他和同伴们踏上园子里很陡的台阶,微微发光的棺材头在烛光下起起伏伏。其他人的胳膊在后面使着劲。前面的莫瑞尔和本茨踉跄了一下,这个黑色的庞然大物就晃动起来。

“稳住!稳住!”莫瑞尔喊道,声音中似乎饱含着痛楚。

六个人抬棺材的人高高地抬着棺材,走进了小园子。再有三步台阶就到门口了。灵车上那盏黄色的灯孤零零地在黑沉沉的马路上闪烁着。

“小心!”莫瑞尔说。

棺材晃动着。人们爬上这三级台阶。第一个人刚出现,安妮手里的蜡烛就忽闪了一下,她禁不住呜咽起来。六个男人垂着脑袋挣扎着进了屋,棺材压着六个人,仿佛压在每个人的心上似的沉重而悲哀。

“噢,我的儿子——我的儿子!”这些人因为上台阶步伐不一致而引起棺材晃动,每晃一次,莫瑞尔太太就低声地哭号一阵。

“噢,我的儿子——……——……——………,”

“妈妈!”保罗一手扶着她的腰,呜咽地喊道。

她没听见。

“哦,我的儿子——我的儿子!”她一遍一遍地念叨着。

保罗看见汗珠从父亲额头上滚落下来。六个男人都进了屋里——六个都没穿外套,弯着胳膊,使着劲,磕碰着家具,把屋里挤得满满的。棺材掉了个头,轻轻地放在了椅子上,汗从莫瑞尔脸上滴落在棺木上。

“哎呀,他可真沉!”一个男人说,其它五个矿工叹着气,躬着腰,哆哆嗦嗦地挣扎着走下台阶,随手关上了身后的门。

现在客厅里只剩下全家人和这个巨大的上了漆的木匣子。威廉入殓时,身长有六英尺四英寸,像一块纪念碑似的躺在那个浅棕色笨重的棺材里。保罗觉得棺材将永远留在房间里了。母亲在抚摸着那上了漆的棺木。

星期一,在山坡上的小公墓地他们葬了他。在这片小公墓里可以俯瞰田野上的大教堂和房屋。那天天气晴朗,白色的菊花在阳光下皱起花瓣。

葬礼后,莫瑞尔太太不再像过去一样谈论生活,对生活充满希望,谁劝她也没用,她不和任何人交谈。在回家的火车上,她就自言自语:“如果死的是我就好了!”

保罗晚上回家时,母亲总是坐在那儿,双手叉着放在膝上那条粗围裙上。所有的家务事都干完了。过去她总是换掉衣服,带上一条黑围裙。现在是安妮给她端饭菜,而妈妈则茫然地看着前方,紧紧地闭着嘴。这时他就绞尽脑汁想起点事来说给她听。

“妈妈,乔丹小姐今天来了,她说我那张素描《忙碌的矿山》画得很棒。”

但是莫瑞尔太太漠然对之。虽然她不听,可他还是每天强迫自己给她讲些什么。她这副麻木的神情几乎要让他发疯了。终于,

“你怎么了,妈妈?”他问。

她没有听到。

“怎么了?”他坚持问,“妈妈,你怎么了?”

“你知道我怎么了。”她烦躁地说着,转过身去。

这个孩子——16岁的孩子——郁郁不乐地上床去了。他就这样愁苦地度过了十月、十一月和十二月,整整三个月。母亲也试着改变一下,可她怎么也振奋不起来。她只是默默思念着死去的儿子,他死得可真惨。

后来,十二月二十三日那天,保罗口袋里装着五先令的圣诞赏钱,晕晕乎乎地走进了屋,母亲看着他,愣了一下。

“你怎么了?”她问。

“我难受得很,妈妈。”他回答,“乔丹先生给了我五先令圣诞赏钱。”

他颤抖着把钱递给她,她把钱放在桌上,

“你不高兴?”他有些责怪她,身体颤抖得更厉害了。

“你哪儿不舒服吗?”她说着解开他大衣的钮扣。

她常这么问。

“我觉得很难受,妈妈。”

她给他脱了衣服,扶他上了床。医生说,他得了很严重的肺炎。

“如果我让他呆在家里,不去诺丁汉,也许他不会得这种病吧?”她首先问道。

“可能不会这么严重。”医生说。

莫瑞尔太太不禁责备自己。

“我应该照顾活人,而不该一心想着死去的。”她对自己说。

保罗病得很厉害,可他们雇不起护士,每天晚上母亲就躺在床上陪他。病情开始恶化,发展到病危期。一天晚上,他被一种就要死的那种阴森恐怖的感觉折磨着,全身的细胞好象都处在就要崩溃的过敏状态,知觉疯狂地正在做最后的挣扎。

“我要死了,妈妈!”他喊着,在枕头上不停地喘着粗气。

她扶起他,低低地哭着:

“哦,我的儿子——我的儿子!”

母亲的哀泣使他清楚过来,认出了她,他的全部意志由此产生并振奋起来。他把头靠在母亲胸前,沉浸在母亲的慰籍之中。

“从某种意义上来说,”他姨妈说,“保罗在圣诞前生病倒是一件好事,我相信这倒救了他妈妈。”

保罗在床上躺了七个星期,再起来时,脸色苍白,浑身虚弱不堪。父亲给他买了一盆深红和金黄色的郁金香。当他坐在沙发上跟母亲聊天时,花儿就放在窗台上,在三月的阳光下闪耀着。现在,母子俩相依为命,莫瑞尔太太把保罗当成了命根子。

威廉是个预言家。圣诞节时,莫瑞尔太太收到了莉莉寄来的一份小礼物和一封信。新年时,莫瑞尔太太的姐姐也收到了莉莉的一封信。“昨天晚上我参加了一个舞会,舞会上碰到一些讨人喜欢的人,我玩得很痛快。”信上这么写着,“我每支舞都跳,没空错过一支舞曲。”

从那以后,莫瑞尔太太再没有她的消息。

儿子死后的一段时间里,莫瑞尔夫妇相敬如宾。他常常陷入一阵恍惚之中,眼睛瞪得大大的,茫然地看着房间的另一头。之后,他突然站起身,急匆匆地到“三点”酒家,回来后就又正常了。不过他再也没有路过莎普斯通,因为那儿有儿子工作过的办公室,而且也总回避着那座公墓。


点击收听单词发音收听单词发音  

1 impulsive M9zxc     
adj.冲动的,刺激的;有推动力的
参考例句:
  • She is impulsive in her actions.她的行为常出于冲动。
  • He was neither an impulsive nor an emotional man,but a very honest and sincere one.他不是个一冲动就鲁莽行事的人,也不多愁善感.他为人十分正直、诚恳。
2 graceful deHza     
adj.优美的,优雅的;得体的
参考例句:
  • His movements on the parallel bars were very graceful.他的双杠动作可帅了!
  • The ballet dancer is so graceful.芭蕾舞演员的姿态是如此的优美。
3 exquisite zhez1     
adj.精美的;敏锐的;剧烈的,感觉强烈的
参考例句:
  • I was admiring the exquisite workmanship in the mosaic.我当时正在欣赏镶嵌画的精致做工。
  • I still remember the exquisite pleasure I experienced in Bali.我依然记得在巴厘岛所经历的那种剧烈的快感。
4 lashes e2e13f8d3a7c0021226bb2f94d6a15ec     
n.鞭挞( lash的名词复数 );鞭子;突然猛烈的一击;急速挥动v.鞭打( lash的第三人称单数 );煽动;紧系;怒斥
参考例句:
  • Mother always lashes out food for the children's party. 孩子们聚会时,母亲总是给他们许多吃的。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • Never walk behind a horse in case it lashes out. 绝对不要跟在马后面,以防它突然猛踢。 来自《简明英汉词典》
5 fiery ElEye     
adj.燃烧着的,火红的;暴躁的;激烈的
参考例句:
  • She has fiery red hair.她有一头火红的头发。
  • His fiery speech agitated the crowd.他热情洋溢的讲话激动了群众。
6 unbearably 96f09e3fcfe66bba0bfe374618d6b05c     
adv.不能忍受地,无法容忍地;慌
参考例句:
  • It was unbearably hot in the car. 汽车里热得难以忍受。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • She found it unbearably painful to speak. 她发现开口说话痛苦得令人难以承受。 来自《简明英汉词典》
7 irritable LRuzn     
adj.急躁的;过敏的;易怒的
参考例句:
  • He gets irritable when he's got toothache.他牙一疼就很容易发脾气。
  • Our teacher is an irritable old lady.She gets angry easily.我们的老师是位脾气急躁的老太太。她很容易生气。
8 groaned 1a076da0ddbd778a674301b2b29dff71     
v.呻吟( groan的过去式和过去分词 );发牢骚;抱怨;受苦
参考例句:
  • He groaned in anguish. 他痛苦地呻吟。
  • The cart groaned under the weight of the piano. 大车在钢琴的重压下嘎吱作响。 来自《简明英汉词典》
9 detest dm0zZ     
vt.痛恨,憎恶
参考例句:
  • I detest people who tell lies.我恨说谎的人。
  • The workers detest his overbearing manner.工人们很讨厌他那盛气凌人的态度。
10 ripen ph3yq     
vt.使成熟;vi.成熟
参考例句:
  • I'm waiting for the apples to ripen.我正在等待苹果成熟。
  • You can ripen the tomatoes on a sunny windowsill.把西红柿放在有阳光的窗台上可以让它们成熟。
11 paltriness 124e9bd7971b841c57f7b2ed2426d379     
n.不足取,无价值
参考例句:
12 bullied 2225065183ebf4326f236cf6e2003ccc     
adj.被欺负了v.恐吓,威逼( bully的过去式和过去分词 )
参考例句:
  • My son is being bullied at school. 我儿子在学校里受欺负。
  • The boy bullied the small girl into giving him all her money. 那男孩威逼那个小女孩把所有的钱都给他。 来自《简明英汉词典》
13 adolescence CyXzY     
n.青春期,青少年
参考例句:
  • Adolescence is the process of going from childhood to maturity.青春期是从少年到成年的过渡期。
  • The film is about the trials and tribulations of adolescence.这部电影讲述了青春期的麻烦和苦恼。
14 irritably e3uxw     
ad.易生气地
参考例句:
  • He lost his temper and snapped irritably at the children. 他发火了,暴躁地斥责孩子们。
  • On this account the silence was irritably broken by a reproof. 为了这件事,他妻子大声斥责,令人恼火地打破了宁静。 来自英汉文学 - 嘉莉妹妹
15 degenerate 795ym     
v.退步,堕落;adj.退步的,堕落的;n.堕落者
参考例句:
  • He didn't let riches and luxury make him degenerate.他不因财富和奢华而自甘堕落。
  • Will too much freedom make them degenerate?太多的自由会令他们堕落吗?
16 hatred T5Gyg     
n.憎恶,憎恨,仇恨
参考例句:
  • He looked at me with hatred in his eyes.他以憎恨的眼光望着我。
  • The old man was seized with burning hatred for the fascists.老人对法西斯主义者充满了仇恨。
17 loathed dbdbbc9cf5c853a4f358a2cd10c12ff2     
v.憎恨,厌恶( loathe的过去式和过去分词 );极不喜欢
参考例句:
  • Baker loathed going to this red-haired young pup for supplies. 面包师傅不喜欢去这个红头发的自负的傻小子那里拿原料。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • Therefore, above all things else, he loathed his miserable self! 因此,他厌恶不幸的自我尤胜其它! 来自英汉文学 - 红字
18 inflamed KqEz2a     
adj.发炎的,红肿的v.(使)变红,发怒,过热( inflame的过去式和过去分词 )
参考例句:
  • His comments have inflamed teachers all over the country. 他的评论激怒了全国教师。
  • Her joints are severely inflamed. 她的关节严重发炎。 来自《简明英汉词典》
19 lame r9gzj     
adj.跛的,(辩解、论据等)无说服力的
参考例句:
  • The lame man needs a stick when he walks.那跛脚男子走路时需借助拐棍。
  • I don't believe his story.It'sounds a bit lame.我不信他讲的那一套。他的话听起来有些靠不住。
20 lamed 4cb2455d428d600ac7151270a620c137     
希伯莱语第十二个字母
参考例句:
  • He was lamed in the earthquake when he was a little boy. 他还是小孩子时在地震中就变跛了。
  • The school was lamed by losses of staff. 学校因教职人员流失而开不了课。
21 decided lvqzZd     
adj.决定了的,坚决的;明显的,明确的
参考例句:
  • This gave them a decided advantage over their opponents.这使他们比对手具有明显的优势。
  • There is a decided difference between British and Chinese way of greeting.英国人和中国人打招呼的方式有很明显的区别。
22 bough 4ReyO     
n.大树枝,主枝
参考例句:
  • I rested my fishing rod against a pine bough.我把钓鱼竿靠在一棵松树的大树枝上。
  • Every bough was swinging in the wind.每条树枝都在风里摇摆。
23 gasped e6af294d8a7477229d6749fa9e8f5b80     
v.喘气( gasp的过去式和过去分词 );喘息;倒抽气;很想要
参考例句:
  • She gasped at the wonderful view. 如此美景使她惊讶得屏住了呼吸。
  • People gasped with admiration at the superb skill of the gymnasts. 体操运动员的高超技艺令人赞叹。 来自《现代汉英综合大词典》
24 fabulous ch6zI     
adj.极好的;极为巨大的;寓言中的,传说中的
参考例句:
  • We had a fabulous time at the party.我们在晚会上玩得很痛快。
  • This is a fabulous sum of money.这是一笔巨款。
25 betrothed betrothed     
n. 已订婚者 动词betroth的过去式和过去分词
参考例句:
  • She is betrothed to John. 她同约翰订了婚。
  • His daughter was betrothed to a teacher. 他的女儿同一个教师订了婚。
26 swells e5cc2e057ee1aff52e79fb6af45c685d     
增强( swell的第三人称单数 ); 肿胀; (使)凸出; 充满(激情)
参考例句:
  • The waters were heaving up in great swells. 河水正在急剧上升。
  • A barrel swells in the middle. 水桶中部隆起。
27 chubby wrwzZ     
adj.丰满的,圆胖的
参考例句:
  • He is stocky though not chubby.他长得敦实,可并不发胖。
  • The short and chubby gentleman over there is our new director.那个既矮又胖的绅士是我们的新主任。
28 evergreens 70f63183fe24f27a2e70b25ab8a14ce5     
n.常青树,常绿植物,万年青( evergreen的名词复数 )
参考例句:
  • The leaves of evergreens are often shaped like needles. 常绿植物的叶常是针形的。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • The pine, cedar and spruce are evergreens. 松树、雪松、云杉都是常绿的树。 来自辞典例句
29 obsequiously 09ac939bd60863e6d9b9fc527330e0fb     
参考例句:
  • You must guard against those who fawn upon you and bow obsequiously before you! 对阿谀奉承、点头哈腰的人要格外警惕! 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • When everyone saw the mayor, they all bowed obsequiously – he was the only exception. 所有人见到市长都点头哈腰,只有他是个例外。 来自互联网
30 dressing 1uOzJG     
n.(食物)调料;包扎伤口的用品,敷料
参考例句:
  • Don't spend such a lot of time in dressing yourself.别花那么多时间来打扮自己。
  • The children enjoy dressing up in mother's old clothes.孩子们喜欢穿上妈妈旧时的衣服玩。
31 brass DWbzI     
n.黄铜;黄铜器,铜管乐器
参考例句:
  • Many of the workers play in the factory's brass band.许多工人都在工厂铜管乐队中演奏。
  • Brass is formed by the fusion of copper and zinc.黄铜是通过铜和锌的熔合而成的。
32 grumbling grumbling     
adj. 喃喃鸣不平的, 出怨言的
参考例句:
  • She's always grumbling to me about how badly she's treated at work. 她总是向我抱怨她在工作中如何受亏待。
  • We didn't hear any grumbling about the food. 我们没听到过对食物的抱怨。
33 penetrate juSyv     
v.透(渗)入;刺入,刺穿;洞察,了解
参考例句:
  • Western ideas penetrate slowly through the East.西方观念逐渐传入东方。
  • The sunshine could not penetrate where the trees were thickest.阳光不能透入树木最浓密的地方。
34 winced 7be9a27cb0995f7f6019956af354c6e4     
赶紧避开,畏缩( wince的过去式和过去分词 )
参考例句:
  • He winced as the dog nipped his ankle. 狗咬了他的脚腕子,疼得他龇牙咧嘴。
  • He winced as a sharp pain shot through his left leg. 他左腿一阵剧痛疼得他直龇牙咧嘴。
35 condescending avxzvU     
adj.谦逊的,故意屈尊的
参考例句:
  • He has a condescending attitude towards women. 他对女性总是居高临下。
  • He tends to adopt a condescending manner when talking to young women. 和年轻女子说话时,他喜欢摆出一副高高在上的姿态。
36 spoke XryyC     
n.(车轮的)辐条;轮辐;破坏某人的计划;阻挠某人的行动 v.讲,谈(speak的过去式);说;演说;从某种观点来说
参考例句:
  • They sourced the spoke nuts from our company.他们的轮辐螺帽是从我们公司获得的。
  • The spokes of a wheel are the bars that connect the outer ring to the centre.辐条是轮子上连接外圈与中心的条棒。
37 chatter BUfyN     
vi./n.喋喋不休;短促尖叫;(牙齿)打战
参考例句:
  • Her continuous chatter vexes me.她的喋喋不休使我烦透了。
  • I've had enough of their continual chatter.我已厌烦了他们喋喋不休的闲谈。
38 chattered 0230d885b9f6d176177681b6eaf4b86f     
(人)喋喋不休( chatter的过去式 ); 唠叨; (牙齿)打战; (机器)震颤
参考例句:
  • They chattered away happily for a while. 他们高兴地闲扯了一会儿。
  • We chattered like two teenagers. 我们聊着天,像两个十多岁的孩子。
39 glib DeNzs     
adj.圆滑的,油嘴滑舌的
参考例句:
  • His glib talk sounds as sweet as a song.他说的比唱的还好听。
  • The fellow has a very glib tongue.这家伙嘴油得很。
40 puffed 72b91de7f5a5b3f6bdcac0d30e24f8ca     
adj.疏松的v.使喷出( puff的过去式和过去分词 );喷着汽(或烟)移动;吹嘘;吹捧
参考例句:
  • He lit a cigarette and puffed at it furiously. 他点燃了一支香烟,狂吸了几口。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • He felt grown-up, puffed up with self-importance. 他觉得长大了,便自以为了不起。 来自《简明英汉词典》
41 briefly 9Styo     
adv.简单地,简短地
参考例句:
  • I want to touch briefly on another aspect of the problem.我想简单地谈一下这个问题的另一方面。
  • He was kidnapped and briefly detained by a terrorist group.他被一个恐怖组织绑架并短暂拘禁。
42 admiration afpyA     
n.钦佩,赞美,羡慕
参考例句:
  • He was lost in admiration of the beauty of the scene.他对风景之美赞不绝口。
  • We have a great admiration for the gold medalists.我们对金牌获得者极为敬佩。
43 boiler OtNzI     
n.锅炉;煮器(壶,锅等)
参考例句:
  • That boiler will not hold up under pressure.那种锅炉受不住压力。
  • This new boiler generates more heat than the old one.这个新锅炉产生的热量比旧锅炉多。
44 flannel S7dyQ     
n.法兰绒;法兰绒衣服
参考例句:
  • She always wears a grey flannel trousers.她总是穿一条灰色法兰绒长裤。
  • She was looking luscious in a flannel shirt.她穿着法兰绒裙子,看上去楚楚动人。
45 discomfort cuvxN     
n.不舒服,不安,难过,困难,不方便
参考例句:
  • One has to bear a little discomfort while travelling.旅行中总要忍受一点不便。
  • She turned red with discomfort when the teacher spoke.老师讲话时她不好意思地红着脸。
46 humiliated 97211aab9c3dcd4f7c74e1101d555362     
感到羞愧的
参考例句:
  • Parents are humiliated if their children behave badly when guests are present. 子女在客人面前举止失当,父母也失体面。
  • He was ashamed and bitterly humiliated. 他感到羞耻,丢尽了面子。
47 ward LhbwY     
n.守卫,监护,病房,行政区,由监护人或法院保护的人(尤指儿童);vt.守护,躲开
参考例句:
  • The hospital has a medical ward and a surgical ward.这家医院有内科病房和外科病房。
  • During the evening picnic,I'll carry a torch to ward off the bugs.傍晚野餐时,我要点根火把,抵挡蚊虫。
48 larking 0eeff3babcdef927cc59a862bb65be38     
v.百灵科鸟(尤指云雀)( lark的现在分词 );一大早就起床;鸡鸣即起;(因太费力而不想干时说)算了
参考例句:
  • Stop larking about and get on with your work. 不要只贪玩,去做你的工作。 来自辞典例句
  • The boys are larking about behind the house. 男孩们在屋子后面嬉耍。 来自辞典例句
49 tinkling Rg3zG6     
n.丁当作响声
参考例句:
  • I could hear bells tinkling in the distance. 我能听到远处叮当铃响。
  • To talk to him was like listening to the tinkling of a worn-out musical-box. 跟他说话,犹如听一架老掉牙的八音盒子丁冬响。 来自英汉文学
50 buck ESky8     
n.雄鹿,雄兔;v.马离地跳跃
参考例句:
  • The boy bent curiously to the skeleton of the buck.这个男孩好奇地弯下身去看鹿的骸骨。
  • The female deer attracts the buck with high-pitched sounds.雌鹿以尖声吸引雄鹿。
51 implored 0b089ebf3591e554caa381773b194ff1     
恳求或乞求(某人)( implore的过去式和过去分词 )
参考例句:
  • She implored him to stay. 她恳求他留下。
  • She implored him with tears in her eyes to forgive her. 她含泪哀求他原谅她。
52 chapel UXNzg     
n.小教堂,殡仪馆
参考例句:
  • The nimble hero,skipped into a chapel that stood near.敏捷的英雄跳进近旁的一座小教堂里。
  • She was on the peak that Sunday afternoon when she played in chapel.那个星期天的下午,她在小教堂的演出,可以说是登峰造极。
53 standing 2hCzgo     
n.持续,地位;adj.永久的,不动的,直立的,不流动的
参考例句:
  • After the earthquake only a few houses were left standing.地震过后只有几幢房屋还立着。
  • They're standing out against any change in the law.他们坚决反对对法律做任何修改。
54 gallant 66Myb     
adj.英勇的,豪侠的;(向女人)献殷勤的
参考例句:
  • Huang Jiguang's gallant deed is known by all men. 黄继光的英勇事迹尽人皆知。
  • These gallant soldiers will protect our country.这些勇敢的士兵会保卫我们的国家的。
55 glibness e0c41df60113bea6429c8163b7dbaa30     
n.花言巧语;口若悬河
参考例句:
  • Mr Samgrass replied with such glibness and at such length, telling me of mislaid luggage. 桑格拉斯先生却油嘴滑舌,事无巨细地告诉我们说行李如何被错放了。 来自辞典例句
56 patronage MSLzq     
n.赞助,支援,援助;光顾,捧场
参考例句:
  • Though it was not yet noon,there was considerable patronage.虽然时间未到中午,店中已有许多顾客惠顾。
  • I am sorry to say that my patronage ends with this.很抱歉,我的赞助只能到此为止。
57 tune NmnwW     
n.调子;和谐,协调;v.调音,调节,调整
参考例句:
  • He'd written a tune,and played it to us on the piano.他写了一段曲子,并在钢琴上弹给我们听。
  • The boy beat out a tune on a tin can.那男孩在易拉罐上敲出一首曲子。
58 awfully MPkym     
adv.可怕地,非常地,极端地
参考例句:
  • Agriculture was awfully neglected in the past.过去农业遭到严重忽视。
  • I've been feeling awfully bad about it.对这我一直感到很难受。
59 perplexed A3Rz0     
adj.不知所措的
参考例句:
  • The farmer felt the cow,went away,returned,sorely perplexed,always afraid of being cheated.那农民摸摸那头牛,走了又回来,犹豫不决,总怕上当受骗。
  • The child was perplexed by the intricate plot of the story.这孩子被那头绪纷繁的故事弄得迷惑不解。
60 orphan QJExg     
n.孤儿;adj.无父母的
参考例句:
  • He brought up the orphan and passed onto him his knowledge of medicine.他把一个孤儿养大,并且把自己的医术传给了他。
  • The orphan had been reared in a convent by some good sisters.这个孤儿在一所修道院里被几个好心的修女带大。
61 fretted 82ebd7663e04782d30d15d67e7c45965     
焦躁的,附有弦马的,腐蚀的
参考例句:
  • The wind whistled through the twigs and fretted the occasional, dirty-looking crocuses. 寒风穿过枯枝,有时把发脏的藏红花吹刮跑了。 来自英汉文学
  • The lady's fame for hitting the mark fretted him. 这位太太看问题深刻的名声在折磨着他。
62 confinement qpOze     
n.幽禁,拘留,监禁;分娩;限制,局限
参考例句:
  • He spent eleven years in solitary confinement.他度过了11年的单独监禁。
  • The date for my wife's confinement was approaching closer and closer.妻子分娩的日子越来越近了。
63 glistened 17ff939f38e2a303f5df0353cf21b300     
v.湿物闪耀,闪亮( glisten的过去式和过去分词 )
参考例句:
  • Pearls of dew glistened on the grass. 草地上珠露晶莹。 来自《现代汉英综合大词典》
  • Her eyes glistened with tears. 她的眼里闪着泪花。 来自《现代汉英综合大词典》
64 statutes 2e67695e587bd14afa1655b870b4c16e     
成文法( statute的名词复数 ); 法令; 法规; 章程
参考例句:
  • The numerous existing statutes are complicated and poorly coordinated. 目前繁多的法令既十分复杂又缺乏快调。 来自英汉非文学 - 环境法 - 环境法
  • Each agency is also restricted by the particular statutes governing its activities. 各个机构的行为也受具体法令限制。 来自英汉非文学 - 环境法 - 环境法
65 scarlet zD8zv     
n.深红色,绯红色,红衣;adj.绯红色的
参考例句:
  • The scarlet leaves of the maples contrast well with the dark green of the pines.深红的枫叶和暗绿的松树形成了明显的对比。
  • The glowing clouds are growing slowly pale,scarlet,bright red,and then light red.天空的霞光渐渐地淡下去了,深红的颜色变成了绯红,绯红又变为浅红。
66 swoop nHPzI     
n.俯冲,攫取;v.抓取,突然袭击
参考例句:
  • The plane made a swoop over the city.那架飞机突然向这座城市猛降下来。
  • We decided to swoop down upon the enemy there.我们决定突袭驻在那里的敌人。
67 perfectly 8Mzxb     
adv.完美地,无可非议地,彻底地
参考例句:
  • The witnesses were each perfectly certain of what they said.证人们个个对自己所说的话十分肯定。
  • Everything that we're doing is all perfectly above board.我们做的每件事情都是光明正大的。
68 warehouse 6h7wZ     
n.仓库;vt.存入仓库
参考例句:
  • We freighted the goods to the warehouse by truck.我们用卡车把货物运到仓库。
  • The manager wants to clear off the old stocks in the warehouse.经理想把仓库里积压的存货处理掉。
69 reverence BByzT     
n.敬畏,尊敬,尊严;Reverence:对某些基督教神职人员的尊称;v.尊敬,敬畏,崇敬
参考例句:
  • He was a bishop who was held in reverence by all.他是一位被大家都尊敬的主教。
  • We reverence tradition but will not be fettered by it.我们尊重传统,但不被传统所束缚。
70 doorway 2s0xK     
n.门口,(喻)入门;门路,途径
参考例句:
  • They huddled in the shop doorway to shelter from the rain.他们挤在商店门口躲雨。
  • Mary suddenly appeared in the doorway.玛丽突然出现在门口。
71 sniffed ccb6bd83c4e9592715e6230a90f76b72     
v.以鼻吸气,嗅,闻( sniff的过去式和过去分词 );抽鼻子(尤指哭泣、患感冒等时出声地用鼻子吸气);抱怨,不以为然地说
参考例句:
  • When Jenney had stopped crying she sniffed and dried her eyes. 珍妮停止了哭泣,吸了吸鼻子,擦干了眼泪。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • The dog sniffed suspiciously at the stranger. 狗疑惑地嗅着那个陌生人。 来自《简明英汉词典》
72 haughty 4dKzq     
adj.傲慢的,高傲的
参考例句:
  • He gave me a haughty look and walked away.他向我摆出傲慢的表情后走开。
  • They were displeased with her haughty airs.他们讨厌她高傲的派头。
73 hovered d194b7e43467f867f4b4380809ba6b19     
鸟( hover的过去式和过去分词 ); 靠近(某事物); (人)徘徊; 犹豫
参考例句:
  • A hawk hovered over the hill. 一只鹰在小山的上空翱翔。
  • A hawk hovered in the blue sky. 一只老鹰在蓝色的天空中翱翔。
74 mighty YDWxl     
adj.强有力的;巨大的
参考例句:
  • A mighty force was about to break loose.一股巨大的力量即将迸发而出。
  • The mighty iceberg came into view.巨大的冰山出现在眼前。
75 heliotrope adbxf     
n.天芥菜;淡紫色
参考例句:
  • So Laurie played and Jo listened,with her nose luxuriously buried in heliotrope and tea roses.这样劳瑞便弹了起来,裘把自己的鼻子惬意地埋在无芥菜和庚申蔷薇花簇中倾听着。
  • The dragon of eternity sustains the faceted heliotrope crystal of life.永恒不朽的飞龙支撑着寓意着生命的淡紫色多面水晶。
76 considerably 0YWyQ     
adv.极大地;相当大地;在很大程度上
参考例句:
  • The economic situation has changed considerably.经济形势已发生了相当大的变化。
  • The gap has narrowed considerably.分歧大大缩小了。
77 plumes 15625acbfa4517aa1374a6f1f44be446     
羽毛( plume的名词复数 ); 羽毛饰; 羽毛状物; 升上空中的羽状物
参考例句:
  • The dancer wore a headdress of pink ostrich plumes. 那位舞蹈演员戴着粉色鸵鸟毛制作的头饰。
  • The plumes on her bonnet barely moved as she nodded. 她点点头,那帽子的羽毛在一个劲儿颤动。
78 rattle 5Alzb     
v.飞奔,碰响;激怒;n.碰撞声;拨浪鼓
参考例句:
  • The baby only shook the rattle and laughed and crowed.孩子只是摇着拨浪鼓,笑着叫着。
  • She could hear the rattle of the teacups.她听见茶具叮当响。
79 rattled b4606e4247aadf3467575ffedf66305b     
慌乱的,恼火的
参考例句:
  • The truck jolted and rattled over the rough ground. 卡车嘎吱嘎吱地在凹凸不平的地面上颠簸而行。
  • Every time a bus went past, the windows rattled. 每逢公共汽车经过这里,窗户都格格作响。
80 hoarsely hoarsely     
adv.嘶哑地
参考例句:
  • "Excuse me," he said hoarsely. “对不起。”他用嘶哑的嗓子说。
  • Jerry hoarsely professed himself at Miss Pross's service. 杰瑞嘶声嘶气地表示愿为普洛丝小姐效劳。 来自英汉文学 - 双城记
81 ridge KDvyh     
n.山脊;鼻梁;分水岭
参考例句:
  • We clambered up the hillside to the ridge above.我们沿着山坡费力地爬上了山脊。
  • The infantry were advancing to attack the ridge.步兵部队正在向前挺进攻打山脊。
82 silhouette SEvz8     
n.黑色半身侧面影,影子,轮廓;v.描绘成侧面影,照出影子来,仅仅显出轮廓
参考例句:
  • I could see its black silhouette against the evening sky.我能看到夜幕下它黑色的轮廓。
  • I could see the silhouette of the woman in the pickup.我可以见到小卡车的女人黑色半身侧面影。
83 wagon XhUwP     
n.四轮马车,手推车,面包车;无盖运货列车
参考例句:
  • We have to fork the hay into the wagon.我们得把干草用叉子挑进马车里去。
  • The muddy road bemired the wagon.马车陷入了泥泞的道路。
84 undue Vf8z6V     
adj.过分的;不适当的;未到期的
参考例句:
  • Don't treat the matter with undue haste.不要过急地处理此事。
  • It would be wise not to give undue importance to his criticisms.最好不要过分看重他的批评。
85 sketch UEyyG     
n.草图;梗概;素描;v.素描;概述
参考例句:
  • My sister often goes into the country to sketch. 我姐姐常到乡间去写生。
  • I will send you a slight sketch of the house.我将给你寄去房屋的草图。
86 sketched 7209bf19355618c1eb5ca3c0fdf27631     
v.草拟(sketch的过去式与过去分词形式)
参考例句:
  • The historical article sketched the major events of the decade. 这篇有关历史的文章概述了这十年中的重大事件。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • He sketched the situation in a few vivid words. 他用几句生动的语言简述了局势。 来自《现代汉英综合大词典》
87 petals f346ae24f5b5778ae3e2317a33cd8d9b     
n.花瓣( petal的名词复数 )
参考例句:
  • white petals tinged with blue 略带蓝色的白花瓣
  • The petals of many flowers expand in the sunshine. 许多花瓣在阳光下开放。 来自《现代英汉综合大词典》
88 trepidation igDy3     
n.惊恐,惶恐
参考例句:
  • The men set off in fear and trepidation.这群人惊慌失措地出发了。
  • The threat of an epidemic caused great alarm and trepidation.流行病猖獗因而人心惶惶。
89 amiable hxAzZ     
adj.和蔼可亲的,友善的,亲切的
参考例句:
  • She was a very kind and amiable old woman.她是个善良和气的老太太。
  • We have a very amiable companionship.我们之间存在一种友好的关系。
90 glistening glistening     
adj.闪耀的,反光的v.湿物闪耀,闪亮( glisten的现在分词 )
参考例句:
  • Her eyes were glistening with tears. 她眼里闪着晶莹的泪花。
  • Her eyes were glistening with tears. 她眼睛中的泪水闪着柔和的光。 来自《用法词典》
91 alley Cx2zK     
n.小巷,胡同;小径,小路
参考例句:
  • We live in the same alley.我们住在同一条小巷里。
  • The blind alley ended in a brick wall.这条死胡同的尽头是砖墙。
92 thicket So0wm     
n.灌木丛,树林
参考例句:
  • A thicket makes good cover for animals to hide in.丛林是动物的良好隐蔽处。
  • We were now at the margin of the thicket.我们现在已经来到了丛林的边缘。
93 glade kgTxM     
n.林间空地,一片表面有草的沼泽低地
参考例句:
  • In the midst of a glade were several huts.林中的空地中间有几间小木屋。
  • The family had their lunch in the glade.全家在林中的空地上吃了午饭。
94 bluebells 2aaccf780d4b01be8ef91c7ff0e90896     
n.圆叶风铃草( bluebell的名词复数 )
参考例句:
  • He pressed her down upon the grass, among the fallen bluebells. 他把她压倒在草地上,压倒在掉落满地的风信子花上。 来自英汉文学
  • The bluebells had cascaded on to the ground. 风信子掉到了地上。 来自辞典例句
95 azure 6P3yh     
adj.天蓝色的,蔚蓝色的
参考例句:
  • His eyes are azure.他的眼睛是天蓝色的。
  • The sun shone out of a clear azure sky.清朗蔚蓝的天空中阳光明媚。
96 fawn NhpzW     
n.未满周岁的小鹿;v.巴结,奉承
参考例句:
  • A fawn behind the tree looked at us curiously.树后面一只小鹿好奇地看着我们。
  • He said you fawn on the manager in order to get a promotion.他说你为了获得提拔,拍经理的马屁。
97 orchard UJzxu     
n.果园,果园里的全部果树,(美俚)棒球场
参考例句:
  • My orchard is bearing well this year.今年我的果园果实累累。
  • Each bamboo house was surrounded by a thriving orchard.每座竹楼周围都是茂密的果园。
98 scent WThzs     
n.气味,香味,香水,线索,嗅觉;v.嗅,发觉
参考例句:
  • The air was filled with the scent of lilac.空气中弥漫着丁香花的芬芳。
  • The flowers give off a heady scent at night.这些花晚上散发出醉人的芳香。
99 apron Lvzzo     
n.围裙;工作裙
参考例句:
  • We were waited on by a pretty girl in a pink apron.招待我们的是一位穿粉红色围裙的漂亮姑娘。
  • She stitched a pocket on the new apron.她在新围裙上缝上一只口袋。
100 rosy kDAy9     
adj.美好的,乐观的,玫瑰色的
参考例句:
  • She got a new job and her life looks rosy.她找到一份新工作,生活看上去很美好。
  • She always takes a rosy view of life.她总是对生活持乐观态度。
101 frail yz3yD     
adj.身体虚弱的;易损坏的
参考例句:
  • Mrs. Warner is already 96 and too frail to live by herself.华纳太太已经九十六岁了,身体虚弱,不便独居。
  • She lay in bed looking particularly frail.她躺在床上,看上去特别虚弱。
102 faltered d034d50ce5a8004ff403ab402f79ec8d     
(嗓音)颤抖( falter的过去式和过去分词 ); 支吾其词; 蹒跚; 摇晃
参考例句:
  • He faltered out a few words. 他支吾地说出了几句。
  • "Er - but he has such a longhead!" the man faltered. 他不好意思似的嚅嗫着:“这孩子脑袋真长。”
103 fowls 4f8db97816f2d0cad386a79bb5c17ea4     
鸟( fowl的名词复数 ); 禽肉; 既不是这; 非驴非马
参考例句:
  • A great number of water fowls dwell on the island. 许多水鸟在岛上栖息。
  • We keep a few fowls and some goats. 我们养了几只鸡和一些山羊。
104 calves bb808da8ca944ebdbd9f1d2688237b0b     
n.(calf的复数)笨拙的男子,腓;腿肚子( calf的名词复数 );牛犊;腓;小腿肚v.生小牛( calve的第三人称单数 );(冰川)崩解;生(小牛等),产(犊);使(冰川)崩解
参考例句:
  • a cow suckling her calves 给小牛吃奶的母牛
  • The calves are grazed intensively during their first season. 小牛在生长的第一季里集中喂养。 来自《简明英汉词典》
105 fumy 262cb2834392540d08aaf1500c70a152     
冒烟的,多蒸汽的
参考例句:
106 ecstasy 9kJzY     
n.狂喜,心醉神怡,入迷
参考例句:
  • He listened to the music with ecstasy.他听音乐听得入了神。
  • Speechless with ecstasy,the little boys gazed at the toys.小孩注视着那些玩具,高兴得说不出话来。
107 eldest bqkx6     
adj.最年长的,最年老的
参考例句:
  • The King's eldest son is the heir to the throne.国王的长子是王位的继承人。
  • The castle and the land are entailed on the eldest son.城堡和土地限定由长子继承。
108 scrambling cfea7454c3a8813b07de2178a1025138     
v.快速爬行( scramble的现在分词 );攀登;争夺;(军事飞机)紧急起飞
参考例句:
  • Scrambling up her hair, she darted out of the house. 她匆忙扎起头发,冲出房去。 来自《现代英汉综合大词典》
  • She is scrambling eggs. 她正在炒蛋。 来自《简明英汉词典》
109 beak 8y1zGA     
n.鸟嘴,茶壶嘴,钩形鼻
参考例句:
  • The bird had a worm in its beak.鸟儿嘴里叼着一条虫。
  • This bird employs its beak as a weapon.这种鸟用嘴作武器。
110 crimson AYwzH     
n./adj.深(绯)红色(的);vi.脸变绯红色
参考例句:
  • She went crimson with embarrassment.她羞得满脸通红。
  • Maple leaves have turned crimson.枫叶已经红了。
111 misery G10yi     
n.痛苦,苦恼,苦难;悲惨的境遇,贫苦
参考例句:
  • Business depression usually causes misery among the working class.商业不景气常使工薪阶层受苦。
  • He has rescued me from the mire of misery.他把我从苦海里救了出来。
112 bullies bullies     
n.欺凌弱小者, 开球 vt.恐吓, 威胁, 欺负
参考例句:
  • Standing up to bullies takes plenty of backbone. 勇敢地对付暴徒需有大无畏精神。
  • Bullies can make your life hell. 恃强欺弱者能让你的日子像活地狱。
113 mincingly 253db6e37fb1f56bd3429b9b94a69264     
参考例句:
  • She stepped mincingly over the puddles. 她假装斯文地跨过了污水坑。 来自互联网
114 boor atRzU     
n.举止粗野的人;乡下佬
参考例句:
  • I'm a bit of a boor,so I hope you won't mind if I speak bluntly.我是一个粗人,说话直来直去,你可别见怪。
  • If he fears the intellectual,he despises the boor.他对知识分子有戒心,但是更瞧不起乡下人。
115 feats 8b538e09d25672d5e6ed5058f2318d51     
功绩,伟业,技艺( feat的名词复数 )
参考例句:
  • He used to astound his friends with feats of physical endurance. 过去,他表现出来的惊人耐力常让朋友们大吃一惊。
  • His heroic feats made him a legend in his own time. 他的英雄业绩使他成了他那个时代的传奇人物。
116 agile Ix2za     
adj.敏捷的,灵活的
参考例句:
  • She is such an agile dancer!她跳起舞来是那么灵巧!
  • An acrobat has to be agile.杂技演员必须身手敏捷。
117 maize q2Wyb     
n.玉米
参考例句:
  • There's a field planted with maize behind the house.房子后面有一块玉米地。
  • We can grow sorghum or maize on this plot.这块地可以种高粱或玉米。
118 crouching crouching     
v.屈膝,蹲伏( crouch的现在分词 )
参考例句:
  • a hulking figure crouching in the darkness 黑暗中蹲伏着的一个庞大身影
  • A young man was crouching by the table, busily searching for something. 一个年轻人正蹲在桌边翻看什么。 来自汉英文学 - 散文英译
119 chagrin 1cyyX     
n.懊恼;气愤;委屈
参考例句:
  • His increasingly visible chagrin sets up a vicious circle.他的明显的不满引起了一种恶性循环。
  • Much to his chagrin,he did not win the race.使他大为懊恼的是他赛跑没获胜。
120 ragged KC0y8     
adj.衣衫褴褛的,粗糙的,刺耳的
参考例句:
  • A ragged shout went up from the small crowd.这一小群人发出了刺耳的喊叫。
  • Ragged clothing infers poverty.破衣烂衫意味着贫穷。
121 dilated 1f1ba799c1de4fc8b7c6c2167ba67407     
adj.加宽的,扩大的v.(使某物)扩大,膨胀,张大( dilate的过去式和过去分词 )
参考例句:
  • Her eyes dilated with fear. 她吓得瞪大了眼睛。
  • The cat dilated its eyes. 猫瞪大了双眼。 来自《简明英汉词典》
122 rustling c6f5c8086fbaf68296f60e8adb292798     
n. 瑟瑟声,沙沙声 adj. 发沙沙声的
参考例句:
  • the sound of the trees rustling in the breeze 树木在微风中发出的沙沙声
  • the soft rustling of leaves 树叶柔和的沙沙声
123 hopping hopping     
n. 跳跃 动词hop的现在分词形式
参考例句:
  • The clubs in town are really hopping. 城里的俱乐部真够热闹的。
  • I'm hopping over to Paris for the weekend. 我要去巴黎度周末。
124 hawthorn j5myb     
山楂
参考例句:
  • A cuckoo began calling from a hawthorn tree.一只布谷鸟开始在一株山楂树里咕咕地呼叫。
  • Much of the track had become overgrown with hawthorn.小路上很多地方都长满了山楂树。
125 robin Oj7zme     
n.知更鸟,红襟鸟
参考例句:
  • The robin is the messenger of spring.知更鸟是报春的使者。
  • We knew spring was coming as we had seen a robin.我们看见了一只知更鸟,知道春天要到了。
126 gathering ChmxZ     
n.集会,聚会,聚集
参考例句:
  • He called on Mr. White to speak at the gathering.他请怀特先生在集会上讲话。
  • He is on the wing gathering material for his novels.他正忙于为他的小说收集资料。
127 appreciation Pv9zs     
n.评价;欣赏;感谢;领会,理解;价格上涨
参考例句:
  • I would like to express my appreciation and thanks to you all.我想对你们所有人表达我的感激和谢意。
  • I'll be sending them a donation in appreciation of their help.我将送给他们一笔捐款以感谢他们的帮助。
128 freckles MsNzcN     
n.雀斑,斑点( freckle的名词复数 )
参考例句:
  • She had a wonderful clear skin with an attractive sprinkling of freckles. 她光滑的皮肤上有几处可爱的小雀斑。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • When she lies in the sun, her face gets covered in freckles. 她躺在阳光下时,脸上布满了斑点。 来自《简明英汉词典》
129 catching cwVztY     
adj.易传染的,有魅力的,迷人的,接住
参考例句:
  • There are those who think eczema is catching.有人就是认为湿疹会传染。
  • Enthusiasm is very catching.热情非常富有感染力。
130 sweeping ihCzZ4     
adj.范围广大的,一扫无遗的
参考例句:
  • The citizens voted for sweeping reforms.公民投票支持全面的改革。
  • Can you hear the wind sweeping through the branches?你能听到风掠过树枝的声音吗?
131 suede 6sXw7     
n.表面粗糙的软皮革
参考例句:
  • I'm looking for a suede jacket.我想买一件皮制茄克。
  • Her newly bought suede shoes look very fashionable.她新买的翻毛皮鞋看上去非常时尚。
132 remonstrated a6eda3fe26f748a6164faa22a84ba112     
v.抗议( remonstrate的过去式和过去分词 );告诫
参考例句:
  • They remonstrated with the official about the decision. 他们就这一决定向这位官员提出了抗议。
  • We remonstrated against the ill-treatment of prisoners of war. 我们对虐待战俘之事提出抗议。 来自辞典例句
133 scribbled de374a2e21876e209006cd3e9a90c01b     
v.潦草的书写( scribble的过去式和过去分词 );乱画;草草地写;匆匆记下
参考例句:
  • She scribbled his phone number on a scrap of paper. 她把他的电话号码匆匆写在一张小纸片上。
  • He scribbled a note to his sister before leaving. 临行前,他给妹妹草草写了一封短信。
134 miserably zDtxL     
adv.痛苦地;悲惨地;糟糕地;极度地
参考例句:
  • The little girl was wailing miserably. 那小女孩难过得号啕大哭。
  • It was drizzling, and miserably cold and damp. 外面下着毛毛细雨,天气又冷又湿,令人难受。 来自《简明英汉词典》
135 sifted 9e99ff7bb86944100bb6d7c842e48f39     
v.筛( sift的过去式和过去分词 );筛滤;细查;详审
参考例句:
  • She sifted through her papers to find the lost letter. 她仔细在文件中寻找那封丢失的信。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • She sifted thistles through her thistle-sifter. 她用蓟筛筛蓟。 来自《简明英汉词典》
136 rugged yXVxX     
adj.高低不平的,粗糙的,粗壮的,强健的
参考例句:
  • Football players must be rugged.足球运动员必须健壮。
  • The Rocky Mountains have rugged mountains and roads.落基山脉有崇山峻岭和崎岖不平的道路。
137 confirmation ZYMya     
n.证实,确认,批准
参考例句:
  • We are waiting for confirmation of the news.我们正在等待证实那个消息。
  • We need confirmation in writing before we can send your order out.给你们发送订购的货物之前,我们需要书面确认。
138 theatrical pIRzF     
adj.剧场的,演戏的;做戏似的,做作的
参考例句:
  • The final scene was dismayingly lacking in theatrical effect.最后一场缺乏戏剧效果,叫人失望。
  • She always makes some theatrical gesture.她老在做些夸张的手势。
139 velvet 5gqyO     
n.丝绒,天鹅绒;adj.丝绒制的,柔软的
参考例句:
  • This material feels like velvet.这料子摸起来像丝绒。
  • The new settlers wore the finest silk and velvet clothing.新来的移民穿着最华丽的丝绸和天鹅绒衣服。
140 manly fBexr     
adj.有男子气概的;adv.男子般地,果断地
参考例句:
  • The boy walked with a confident manly stride.这男孩以自信的男人步伐行走。
  • He set himself manly tasks and expected others to follow his example.他给自己定下了男子汉的任务,并希望别人效之。
141 subsided 1bda21cef31764468020a8c83598cc0d     
v.(土地)下陷(因在地下采矿)( subside的过去式和过去分词 );减弱;下降至较低或正常水平;一下子坐在椅子等上
参考例句:
  • After the heavy rains part of the road subsided. 大雨过后,部分公路塌陷了。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • By evening the storm had subsided and all was quiet again. 傍晚, 暴风雨已经过去,四周开始沉寂下来。 来自《现代汉英综合大词典》
142 wrath nVNzv     
n.愤怒,愤慨,暴怒
参考例句:
  • His silence marked his wrath. 他的沉默表明了他的愤怒。
  • The wrath of the people is now aroused. 人们被激怒了。
143 repented c24481167c6695923be1511247ed3c08     
对(自己的所为)感到懊悔或忏悔( repent的过去式和过去分词 )
参考例句:
  • He repented his thoughtlessness. 他后悔自己的轻率。
  • Darren repented having shot the bird. 达伦后悔射杀了那只鸟。
144 feverish gzsye     
adj.发烧的,狂热的,兴奋的
参考例句:
  • He is too feverish to rest.他兴奋得安静不下来。
  • They worked with feverish haste to finish the job.为了完成此事他们以狂热的速度工作着。
145 unnatural 5f2zAc     
adj.不自然的;反常的
参考例句:
  • Did her behaviour seem unnatural in any way?她有任何反常表现吗?
  • She has an unnatural smile on her face.她脸上挂着做作的微笑。
146 worthy vftwB     
adj.(of)值得的,配得上的;有价值的
参考例句:
  • I did not esteem him to be worthy of trust.我认为他不值得信赖。
  • There occurred nothing that was worthy to be mentioned.没有值得一提的事发生。
147 junction N34xH     
n.连接,接合;交叉点,接合处,枢纽站
参考例句:
  • There's a bridge at the junction of the two rivers.两河的汇合处有座桥。
  • You must give way when you come to this junction.你到了这个路口必须让路。
148 soothing soothing     
adj.慰藉的;使人宽心的;镇静的
参考例句:
  • Put on some nice soothing music.播放一些柔和舒缓的音乐。
  • His casual, relaxed manner was very soothing.他随意而放松的举动让人很快便平静下来。
149 ointment 6vzy5     
n.药膏,油膏,软膏
参考例句:
  • Your foot will feel better after the application of this ointment.敷用这药膏后,你的脚会感到舒服些。
  • This herbal ointment will help to close up your wound quickly.这种中草药膏会帮助你的伤口很快愈合。
150 landlady t2ZxE     
n.女房东,女地主
参考例句:
  • I heard my landlady creeping stealthily up to my door.我听到我的女房东偷偷地来到我的门前。
  • The landlady came over to serve me.女店主过来接待我。
151 bonnet AtSzQ     
n.无边女帽;童帽
参考例句:
  • The baby's bonnet keeps the sun out of her eyes.婴孩的帽子遮住阳光,使之不刺眼。
  • She wore a faded black bonnet garnished with faded artificial flowers.她戴着一顶褪了色的黑色无边帽,帽上缀着褪了色的假花。
152 stupor Kqqyx     
v.昏迷;不省人事
参考例句:
  • As the whisky took effect, he gradually fell into a drunken stupor.随着威士忌酒力发作,他逐渐醉得不省人事。
  • The noise of someone banging at the door roused her from her stupor.梆梆的敲门声把她从昏迷中唤醒了。
153 cannon 3T8yc     
n.大炮,火炮;飞机上的机关炮
参考例句:
  • The soldiers fired the cannon.士兵们开炮。
  • The cannon thundered in the hills.大炮在山间轰鸣。
154 lodging wRgz9     
n.寄宿,住所;(大学生的)校外宿舍
参考例句:
  • The bill is inclusive of the food and lodging. 账单包括吃、住费用。
  • Where can you find lodging for the night? 你今晚在哪里借宿?
155 leakage H1dxq     
n.漏,泄漏;泄漏物;漏出量
参考例句:
  • Large areas of land have been contaminated by the leakage from the nuclear reactor.大片地区都被核反应堆的泄漏物污染了。
  • The continuing leakage is the result of the long crack in the pipe.这根管子上的那一条裂缝致使渗漏不断。
156 vessel 4L1zi     
n.船舶;容器,器皿;管,导管,血管
参考例句:
  • The vessel is fully loaded with cargo for Shanghai.这艘船满载货物驶往上海。
  • You should put the water into a vessel.你应该把水装入容器中。
157 cargo 6TcyG     
n.(一只船或一架飞机运载的)货物
参考例句:
  • The ship has a cargo of about 200 ton.这条船大约有200吨的货物。
  • A lot of people discharged the cargo from a ship.许多人从船上卸下货物。
158 soothe qwKwF     
v.安慰;使平静;使减轻;缓和;奉承
参考例句:
  • I've managed to soothe him down a bit.我想方设法使他平静了一点。
  • This medicine should soothe your sore throat.这种药会减轻你的喉痛。
159 pneumonia s2HzQ     
n.肺炎
参考例句:
  • Cage was struck with pneumonia in her youth.凯奇年轻时得过肺炎。
  • Pneumonia carried him off last week.肺炎上星期夺去了他的生命。
160 peculiar cinyo     
adj.古怪的,异常的;特殊的,特有的
参考例句:
  • He walks in a peculiar fashion.他走路的样子很奇特。
  • He looked at me with a very peculiar expression.他用一种很奇怪的表情看着我。
161 chafed f9adc83cf3cbb1d83206e36eae090f1f     
v.擦热(尤指皮肤)( chafe的过去式 );擦痛;发怒;惹怒
参考例句:
  • Her wrists chafed where the rope had been. 她的手腕上绳子勒过的地方都磨红了。
  • She chafed her cold hands. 她揉搓冰冷的双手使之暖和。 来自《现代英汉综合大词典》
162 raved 0cece3dcf1e171c33dc9f8e0bfca3318     
v.胡言乱语( rave的过去式和过去分词 );愤怒地说;咆哮;痴心地说
参考例句:
  • Andrew raved all night in his fever. 安德鲁发烧时整夜地说胡话。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • They raved about her beauty. 他们过分称赞她的美。 来自《现代英汉综合大词典》
163 dreary sk1z6     
adj.令人沮丧的,沉闷的,单调乏味的
参考例句:
  • They live such dreary lives.他们的生活如此乏味。
  • She was tired of hearing the same dreary tale of drunkenness and violence.她听够了那些关于酗酒和暴力的乏味故事。
164 registrar xSUzO     
n.记录员,登记员;(大学的)注册主任
参考例句:
  • You can obtain the application from the registrar.你可以向注册人员索取申请书。
  • The manager fired a young registrar.经理昨天解雇了一名年轻的记录员。
165 shuffling 03b785186d0322e5a1a31c105fc534ee     
adj. 慢慢移动的, 滑移的 动词shuffle的现在分词形式
参考例句:
  • Don't go shuffling along as if you were dead. 别像个死人似地拖着脚走。 来自英汉文学 - 嘉莉妹妹
  • Some one was shuffling by on the sidewalk. 外面的人行道上有人拖着脚走过。 来自英汉文学 - 嘉莉妹妹
166 bustle esazC     
v.喧扰地忙乱,匆忙,奔忙;n.忙碌;喧闹
参考例句:
  • The bustle and din gradually faded to silence as night advanced.随着夜越来越深,喧闹声逐渐沉寂。
  • There is a lot of hustle and bustle in the railway station.火车站里非常拥挤。
167 conundrum gpxzZ     
n.谜语;难题
参考例句:
  • Let me give you some history about a conundrum.让我给你们一些关于谜题的历史。
  • Scientists had focused on two explanations to solve this conundrum.科学家已锁定两种解释来解开这个难题。
168 curiously 3v0zIc     
adv.有求知欲地;好问地;奇特地
参考例句:
  • He looked curiously at the people.他好奇地看着那些人。
  • He took long stealthy strides. His hands were curiously cold.他迈着悄没声息的大步。他的双手出奇地冷。
169 unaware Pl6w0     
a.不知道的,未意识到的
参考例句:
  • They were unaware that war was near. 他们不知道战争即将爆发。
  • I was unaware of the man's presence. 我没有察觉到那人在场。
170 coffin XWRy7     
n.棺材,灵柩
参考例句:
  • When one's coffin is covered,all discussion about him can be settled.盖棺论定。
  • The coffin was placed in the grave.那口棺材已安放到坟墓里去了。
171 plaintively 46a8d419c0b5a38a2bee07501e57df53     
adv.悲哀地,哀怨地
参考例句:
  • The last note of the song rang out plaintively. 歌曲最后道出了离别的哀怨。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • Birds cry plaintively before they die, men speak kindly in the presence of death. 鸟之将死,其鸣也哀;人之将死,其言也善。 来自《现代汉英综合大词典》
172 monstrous vwFyM     
adj.巨大的;恐怖的;可耻的,丢脸的
参考例句:
  • The smoke began to whirl and grew into a monstrous column.浓烟开始盘旋上升,形成了一个巨大的烟柱。
  • Your behaviour in class is monstrous!你在课堂上的行为真是丢人!
173 luminous 98ez5     
adj.发光的,发亮的;光明的;明白易懂的;有启发的
参考例句:
  • There are luminous knobs on all the doors in my house.我家所有门上都安有夜光把手。
  • Most clocks and watches in this shop are in luminous paint.这家商店出售的大多数钟表都涂了发光漆。
174 flickered 93ec527d68268e88777d6ca26683cc82     
(通常指灯光)闪烁,摇曳( flicker的过去式和过去分词 )
参考例句:
  • The lights flickered and went out. 灯光闪了闪就熄了。
  • These lights flickered continuously like traffic lights which have gone mad. 这些灯象发狂的交通灯一样不停地闪动着。
175 veered 941849b60caa30f716cec7da35f9176d     
v.(尤指交通工具)改变方向或路线( veer的过去式和过去分词 );(指谈话内容、人的行为或观点)突然改变;(指风) (在北半球按顺时针方向、在南半球按逆时针方向)逐渐转向;风向顺时针转
参考例句:
  • The bus veered onto the wrong side of the road. 公共汽车突然驶入了逆行道。
  • The truck veered off the road and crashed into a tree. 卡车突然驶离公路撞上了一棵树。 来自《简明英汉词典》
176 descended guQzoy     
a.为...后裔的,出身于...的
参考例句:
  • A mood of melancholy descended on us. 一种悲伤的情绪袭上我们的心头。
  • The path descended the hill in a series of zigzags. 小路呈连续的之字形顺着山坡蜿蜒而下。
177 ponderous pOCxR     
adj.沉重的,笨重的,(文章)冗长的
参考例句:
  • His steps were heavy and ponderous.他的步伐沉重缓慢。
  • It was easy to underestimate him because of his occasionally ponderous manner.由于他偶尔现出的沉闷的姿态,很容易使人小看了他。
178 cemetery ur9z7     
n.坟墓,墓地,坟场
参考例句:
  • He was buried in the cemetery.他被葬在公墓。
  • His remains were interred in the cemetery.他的遗体葬在墓地。
179 chrysanthemums 1ded1ec345ac322f70619ba28233b570     
n.菊花( chrysanthemum的名词复数 )
参考例句:
  • The cold weather had most deleterious consequences among the chrysanthemums. 寒冷的天气对菊花产生了极有害的影响。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • The chrysanthemums are in bloom; some are red and some yellow. 菊花开了, 有红的,有黄的。 来自《现代汉英综合大词典》
180 drearily a9ac978ac6fcd40e1eeeffcdb1b717a2     
沉寂地,厌倦地,可怕地
参考例句:
  • "Oh, God," thought Scarlett drearily, "that's just the trouble. "啊,上帝!" 思嘉沮丧地想,"难就难在这里呀。
  • His voice was utterly and drearily expressionless. 他的声调,阴沉沉的,干巴巴的,完全没有感情。
181 condemned condemned     
adj. 被责难的, 被宣告有罪的 动词condemn的过去式和过去分词
参考例句:
  • He condemned the hypocrisy of those politicians who do one thing and say another. 他谴责了那些说一套做一套的政客的虚伪。
  • The policy has been condemned as a regressive step. 这项政策被认为是一种倒退而受到谴责。
182 irritability oR0zn     
n.易怒
参考例句:
  • It was the almost furtive restlessness and irritability that had possessed him. 那是一种一直纠缠着他的隐秘的不安和烦恼。
  • All organisms have irritability while alive. 所有生物体活着时都有应激性。
183 flare LgQz9     
v.闪耀,闪烁;n.潮红;突发
参考例句:
  • The match gave a flare.火柴发出闪光。
  • You need not flare up merely because I mentioned your work.你大可不必因为我提到你的工作就动怒。
184 chattering chattering     
n. (机器振动发出的)咔嗒声,(鸟等)鸣,啁啾 adj. 喋喋不休的,啾啾声的 动词chatter的现在分词形式
参考例句:
  • The teacher told the children to stop chattering in class. 老师叫孩子们在课堂上不要叽叽喳喳讲话。
  • I was so cold that my teeth were chattering. 我冷得牙齿直打战。
185 intimacy z4Vxx     
n.熟悉,亲密,密切关系,亲昵的言行
参考例句:
  • His claims to an intimacy with the President are somewhat exaggerated.他声称自己与总统关系密切,这有点言过其实。
  • I wish there were a rule book for intimacy.我希望能有个关于亲密的规则。
186 delightful 6xzxT     
adj.令人高兴的,使人快乐的
参考例句:
  • We had a delightful time by the seashore last Sunday.上星期天我们在海滨玩得真痛快。
  • Peter played a delightful melody on his flute.彼得用笛子吹奏了一支欢快的曲子。
187 daze vnyzH     
v.(使)茫然,(使)发昏
参考例句:
  • The blow on the head dazed him for a moment.他头上受了一击后就昏眩了片刻。
  • I like dazing to sit in the cafe by myself on Sunday.星期日爱独坐人少的咖啡室发呆。


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