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Chapter 8 Strife In Love
ARTHUR finished his apprenticeship1, and got a job on the electrical plant at Minton Pit. He earned very little, but had a good chance of getting on. But he was wild and restless. He did not drink nor gamble. Yet he somehow contrived2 to get into endless scrapes, always through some hot-headed thoughtlessness. Either he went rabbiting in the woods, like a poacher, or he stayed in Nottingham all night instead of coming home, or he miscalculated his dive into the canal at Bestwood, and scored his chest into one mass of wounds on the raw stones and tins at the bottom.

He had not been at his work many months when again he did not come home one night.

"Do you know where Arthur is?" asked Paul at breakfast.

"I do not," replied his mother.

"He is a fool," said Paul. "And if he DID anything I shouldn't mind. But no, he simply can't come away from a game of whist, or else he must see a girl home from the skating-rink--quite proprietously--and so can't get home. He's a fool."

"I don't know that it would make it any better if he did something to make us all ashamed," said Mrs. Morel.

"Well, I should respect him more," said Paul.

"I very much doubt it," said his mother coldly.

They went on with breakfast.

"Are you fearfully fond of him?" Paul asked his mother.

"What do you ask that for?"

"Because they say a woman always like the youngest best."

"She may do--but I don't. No, he wearies me."

"And you'd actually rather he was good?"

"I'd rather he showed some of a man's common sense."

Paul was raw and irritable3. He also wearied his mother very often. She saw the sunshine going out of him, and she resented it.

As they were finishing breakfast came the postman with a letter from Derby. Mrs. Morel screwed up her eyes to look at the address.

"Give it here, blind eye!" exclaimed her son, snatching it away from her.

She started, and almost boxed his ears.

"It's from your son, Arthur," he said.

"What now---!" cried Mrs. Morel.

"'My dearest Mother,'" Paul read, "'I don't know what made me such a fool. I want you to come and fetch me back from here. I came with Jack4 Bredon yesterday, instead of going to work, and enlisted5. He said he was sick of wearing the seat of a stool out, and, like the idiot you know I am, I came away with him.

"'I have taken the King's shilling, but perhaps if you came for me they would let me go back with you. I was a fool when I did it. I don't want to be in the army. My dear mother, I am nothing but a trouble to you. But if you get me out of this, I promise I will have more sense and consideration. . . .'"

Mrs. Morel sat down in her rocking-chair.

"Well, NOW," she cried, "let him stop!"

"Yes," said Paul, "let him stop."

There was silence. The mother sat with her hands folded in her apron6, her face set, thinking.

"If I'm not SICK!" she cried suddenly. "Sick!"

"Now," said Paul, beginning to frown, "you're not going to worry your soul out about this, do you hear."

"I suppose I'm to take it as a blessing7," she flashed, turning on her son.

"You're not going to mount it up to a tragedy, so there," he retorted.

"The FOOL!--the young fool!" she cried.

"He'll look well in uniform," said Paul irritatingly.

His mother turned on him like a fury.

"Oh, will he!" she cried. "Not in my eyes!"

"He should get in a cavalry8 regiment9; he'll have the time of his life, and will look an awful swell10."

"Swell!--SWELL!--a mighty11 swell idea indeed!--a common soldier!"

"Well," said Paul, "what am I but a common clerk?"

"A good deal, my boy!" cried his mother, stung.

"What?"

"At any rate, a MAN, and not a thing in a red coat."

"I shouldn't mind being in a red coat--or dark blue, that would suit me better--if they didn't boss me about too much."

But his mother had ceased to listen.

"Just as he was getting on, or might have been getting on, at his job--a young nuisance--here he goes and ruins himself for life. What good will he be, do you think, after THIS?"

"It may lick him into shape beautifully," said Paul.

"Lick him into shape!--lick what marrow12 there WAS out of his bones. A SOLDIER!--a common SOLDIER!--nothing but a body that makes movements when it hears a shout! It's a fine thing!"

"I can't understand why it upsets you," said Paul.

"No, perhaps you can't. But I understand"; and she sat back in her chair, her chin in one hand, holding her elbow with the other, brimmed up with wrath13 and chagrin14.

"And shall you go to Derby?" asked Paul.

"Yes."

"It's no good."

"I'll see for myself."

"And why on earth don't you let him stop. It's just what he wants."

"Of course," cried the mother, "YOU know what he wants!"

She got ready and went by the first train to Derby, where she saw her son and the sergeant15. It was, however, no good.

When Morel was having his dinner in the evening, she said suddenly:

"I've had to go to Derby to-day."

The miner turned up his eyes, showing the whites in his black face.

"Has ter, lass. What took thee there?"

"That Arthur!"

"Oh--an' what's agate17 now?"

"He's only enlisted."

Morel put down his knife and leaned back in his chair.

"Nay18," he said, "that he niver 'as!"

"And is going down to Aldershot tomorrow."

"Well!" exclaimed the miner. "That's a winder." He considered it a moment, said "H'm!" and proceeded with his dinner. Suddenly his face contracted with wrath. "I hope he may never set foot i' my house again," he said.

"The idea!" cried Mrs. Morel. "Saying such a thing!"

"I do," repeated Morel. "A fool as runs away for a soldier, let 'im look after 'issen; I s'll do no more for 'im."

"A fat sight you have done as it is," she said.

And Morel was almost ashamed to go to his public-house that evening.

"Well, did you go?" said Paul to his mother when he came home.

"I did."

"And could you see him?"

"Yes."

"And what did he say?"

"He blubbered when I came away."

"H'm!"

"And so did I, so you needn't 'h'm'!"

Mrs. Morel fretted19 after her son. She knew he would not like the army. He did not. The discipline was intolerable to him.

"But the doctor," she said with some pride to Paul, "said he was perfectly20 proportioned--almost exactly; all his measurements were correct. He IS good-looking, you know."

"He's awfully21 nice-looking. But he doesn't fetch the girls like William, does he?"

"No; it's a different character. He's a good deal like his father, irresponsible."

To console his mother, Paul did not go much to Willey Farm at this time. And in the autumn exhibition of students' work in the Castle he had two studies, a landscape in water-colour and a still life in oil, both of which had first-prize awards. He was highly excited.

"What do you think I've got for my pictures, mother?" he asked, coming home one evening. She saw by his eyes he was glad. Her face flushed.

"Now, how should I know, my boy!"

"A first prize for those glass jars---"

"H'm!"

"And a first prize for that sketch22 up at Willey Farm."

"Both first?"

"Yes."

"H'm!"

There was a rosy23, bright look about her, though she said nothing.

"It's nice," he said, "isn't it?"

"It is."

"Why don't you praise me up to the skies?"

She laughed.

"I should have the trouble of dragging you down again," she said.

But she was full of joy, nevertheless. William had brought her his sporting trophies24. She kept them still, and she did not forgive his death. Arthur was handsome--at least, a good specimen--and warm and generous, and probably would do well in the end. But Paul was going to distinguish himself. She had a great belief in him, the more because he was unaware25 of his own powers. There was so much to come out of him. Life for her was rich with promise. She was to see herself fulfilled. Not for nothing had been her struggle.

Several times during the exhibition Mrs. Morel went to the Castle unknown to Paul. She wandered down the long room looking at the other exhibits. Yes, they were good. But they had not in them a certain something which she demanded for her satisfaction. Some made her jealous, they were so good. She looked at them a long time trying to find fault with them. Then suddenly she had a shock that made her heart beat. There hung Paul's picture! She knew it as if it were printed on her heart.

"Name--Paul Morel--First Prize."

It looked so strange, there in public, on the walls of the Castle gallery, where in her lifetime she had seen so many pictures. And she glanced round to see if anyone had noticed her again in front of the same sketch.

But she felt a proud woman. When she met well-dressed ladies going home to the Park, she thought to herself:

"Yes, you look very well--but I wonder if YOUR son has two first prizes in the Castle."

And she walked on, as proud a little woman as any in Nottingham. And Paul felt he had done something for her, if only a trifle. All his work was hers.

One day, as he was going up Castle Gate, he met Miriam. He had seen her on the Sunday, and had not expected to meet her in town. She was walking with a rather striking woman, blonde, with a sullen26 expression, and a defiant27 carriage. It was strange how Miriam, in her bowed, meditative28 bearing, looked dwarfed29 beside this woman with the handsome shoulders. Miriam watched Paul searchingly. His gaze was on the stranger, who ignored him. The girl saw his masculine spirit rear its head.

"Hello!" he said, "you didn't tell me you were coming to town."

"No," replied Miriam, half apologetically. "I drove in to Cattle Market with father."

He looked at her companion.

"I've told you about Mrs. Dawes," said Miriam huskily; she was nervous. "Clara, do you know Paul?"

"I think I've seen him before," replied Mrs. Dawes indifferently, as she shook hands with him. She had scornful grey eyes, a skin like white honey, and a full mouth, with a slightly lifted upper lip that did not know whether it was raised in scorn of all men or out of eagerness to be kissed, but which believed the former. She carried her head back, as if she had drawn30 away in contempt, perhaps from men also. She wore a large, dowdy31 hat of black beaver32, and a sort of slightly affected33 simple dress that made her look rather sack-like. She was evidently poor, and had not much taste. Miriam usually looked nice.

"Where have you seen me?" Paul asked of the woman.

She looked at him as if she would not trouble to answer. Then:

"Walking with Louie Travers," she said.

Louie was one of the "Spiral" girls.

"Why, do you know her?" he asked.

She did not answer. He turned to Miriam.

"Where are you going?" he asked.

"To the Castle."

"What train are you going home by?"

"I am driving with father. I wish you could come too. What time are you free?"

"You know not till eight to-night, damn it!"

And directly the two women moved on.

Paul remembered that Clara Dawes was the daughter of an old friend of Mrs. Leivers. Miriam had sought her out because she had once been Spiral overseer at Jordan's, and because her husband, Baxter Dawes, was smith for the factory, making the irons for cripple instruments, and so on. Through her Miriam felt she got into direct contact with Jordan's, and could estimate better Paul's position. But Mrs. Dawes was separated from her husband, and had taken up Women's Rights. She was supposed to be clever. It interested Paul.

Baxter Dawes he knew and disliked. The smith was a man of thirty-one or thirty-two. He came occasionally through Paul's corner--a big, well-set man, also striking to look at, and handsome. There was a peculiar35 similarity between himself and his wife. He had the same white skin, with a clear, golden tinge36. His hair was of soft brown, his moustache was golden. And he had a similar defiance37 in his bearing and manner. But then came the difference. His eyes, dark brown and quick-shifting, were dissolute. They protruded38 very slightly, and his eyelids39 hung over them in a way that was half hate. His mouth, too, was sensual. His whole manner was of cowed defiance, as if he were ready to knock anybody down who disapproved40 of him--perhaps because he really disapproved of himself.

From the first day he had hated Paul. Finding the lad's impersonal41, deliberate gaze of an artist on his face, he got into a fury.

"What are yer lookin' at?" he sneered42, bullying43.

The boy glanced away. But the smith used to stand behind the counter and talk to Mr. Pappleworth. His speech was dirty, with a kind of rottenness. Again he found the youth with his cool, critical gaze fixed44 on his face. The smith started round as if he had been stung.

"What'r yer lookin' at, three hap'orth o' pap?" he snarled45.

The boy shrugged46 his shoulders slightly.

"Why yer---!" shouted Dawes.

"Leave him alone," said Mr. Pappleworth, in that insinuating47 voice which means, "He's only one of your good little sops48 who can't help it."

Since that time the boy used to look at the man every time he came through with the same curious criticism, glancing away before he met the smith's eye. It made Dawes furious. They hated each other in silence.

Clara Dawes had no children. When she had left her husband the home had been broken up, and she had gone to live with her mother. Dawes lodged49 with his sister. In the same house was a sister-in-law, and somehow Paul knew that this girl, Louie Travers, was now Dawes's woman. She was a handsome, insolent50 hussy, who mocked at the youth, and yet flushed if he walked along to the station with her as she went home.

The next time he went to see Miriam it was Saturday evening. She had a fire in the parlour, and was waiting for him. The others, except her father and mother and the young children, had gone out, so the two had the parlour together. It was a long, low, warm room. There were three of Paul's small sketches51 on the wall, and his photo was on the mantelpiece. On the table and on the high old rosewood piano were bowls of coloured leaves. He sat in the armchair, she crouched52 on the hearthrug near his feet. The glow was warm on her handsome, pensive54 face as she kneeled there like a devotee.

"What did you think of Mrs. Dawes?" she asked quietly.

"She doesn't look very amiable55," he replied.

"No, but don't you think she's a fine woman?" she said, in a deep tone,

"Yes--in stature56. But without a grain of taste. I like her for some things. IS she disagreeable?"

"I don't think so. I think she's dissatisfied."

"What with?"

"Well--how would you like to be tied for life to a man like that?"

"Why did she marry him, then, if she was to have revulsions so soon?"

"Ay, why did she!" repeated Miriam bitterly.

"And I should have thought she had enough fight in her to match him," he said.

Miriam bowed her head.

"Ay?" she queried57 satirically. "What makes you think so?"

"Look at her mouth--made for passion--and the very setback58 of her throat---" He threw his head back in Clara's defiant manner.

Miriam bowed a little lower.

"Yes," she said.

There was a silence for some moments, while he thought of Clara.

"And what were the things you liked about her?" she asked.

"I don't know--her skin and the texture59 of her--and her--I don't know--there's a sort of fierceness somewhere in her. I appreciate her as an artist, that's all."

"Yes."

He wondered why Miriam crouched there brooding in that strange way. It irritated him.

"You don't really like her, do you?" he asked the girl.

She looked at him with her great, dazzled dark eyes.

"I do," she said.

"You don't--you can't--not really."

"Then what?" she asked slowly.

"Eh, I don't know--perhaps you like her because she's got a grudge60 against men."

That was more probably one of his own reasons for liking61 Mrs. Dawes, but this did not occur to him. They were silent. There had come into his forehead a knitting of the brows which was becoming habitual62 with him, particularly when he was with Miriam. She longed to smooth it away, and she was afraid of it. It seemed the stamp of a man who was not her man in Paul Morel.

There were some crimson63 berries among the leaves in the bowl. He reached over and pulled out a bunch.

"If you put red berries in your hair," he said, "why would you look like some witch or priestess, and never like a reveller64?"

She laughed with a naked, painful sound.

"I don't know," she said.

His vigorous warm hands were playing excitedly with the berries.

"Why can't you laugh?" he said. "You never laugh laughter. You only laugh when something is odd or incongruous, and then it almost seems to hurt you."

She bowed her head as if he were scolding her.

"I wish you could laugh at me just for one minute--just for one minute. I feel as if it would set something free."

"But"--and she looked up at him with eyes frightened and struggling--"I do laugh at you--I DO."

"Never! There's always a kind of intensity65. When you laugh I could always cry; it seems as if it shows up your suffering. Oh, you make me knit the brows of my very soul and cogitate66."

Slowly she shook her head despairingly.

"I'm sure I don't want to," she said.

"I'm so damned spiritual with YOU always!" he cried.

She remained silent, thinking, "Then why don't you be otherwise." But he saw her crouching67, brooding figure, and it seemed to tear him in two.

"But, there, it's autumn," he said, "and everybody feels like a disembodied spirit then."

There was still another silence. This peculiar sadness between them thrilled her soul. He seemed so beautiful with his eyes gone dark, and looking as if they were deep as the deepest well.

"You make me so spiritual!" he lamented68. "And I don't want to be spiritual."

She took her finger from her mouth with a little pop, and looked up at him almost challenging. But still her soul was naked in her great dark eyes, and there was the same yearning69 appeal upon her. If he could have kissed her in abstract purity he would have done so. But he could not kiss her thus--and she seemed to leave no other way. And she yearned70 to him.

He gave a brief laugh.

"Well," he said, "get that French and we'll do some--some Verlaine."

"Yes," she said in a deep tone, almost of resignation. And she rose and got the books. And her rather red, nervous hands looked so pitiful, he was mad to comfort her and kiss her. But then be dared not--or could not. There was something prevented him. His kisses were wrong for her. They continued the reading till ten o'clock, when they went into the kitchen, and Paul was natural and jolly again with the father and mother. His eyes were dark and shining; there was a kind of fascination71 about him.

When he went into the barn for his bicycle he found the front wheel punctured72.

"Fetch me a drop of water in a bowl," he said to her. "I shall be late, and then I s'll catch it."

He lighted the hurricane lamp, took off his coat, turned up the bicycle, and set speedily to work. Miriam came with the bowl of water and stood close to him, watching. She loved to see his hands doing things. He was slim and vigorous, with a kind of easiness even in his most hasty movements. And busy at his work he seemed to forget her. She loved him absorbedly. She wanted to run her hands down his sides. She always wanted to embrace him, so long as he did not want her.

"There!" he said, rising suddenly. "Now, could you have done it quicker?"

"No!" she laughed.

He straightened himself. His back was towards her. She put her two hands on his sides, and ran them quickly down.

"You are so FINE!" she said.

He laughed, hating her voice, but his blood roused to a wave of flame by her hands. She did not seem to realise HIM in all this. He might have been an object. She never realised the male he was.

He lighted his bicycle-lamp, bounced the machine on the barn floor to see that the tyres were sound, and buttoned his coat.

"That's all right!" he said.

She was trying the brakes, that she knew were broken.

"Did you have them mended?" she asked.

"No!"

"But why didn't you?"

"The back one goes on a bit."

"But it's not safe."

"I can use my toe."

"I wish you'd had them mended," she murmured.

"Don't worry--come to tea tomorrow, with Edgar."

"Shall we?"

"Do--about four. I'll come to meet you."

"Very well."

She was pleased. They went across the dark yard to the gate. Looking across, he saw through the uncurtained window of the kitchen the heads of Mr. and Mrs. Leivers in the warm glow. It looked very cosy74. The road, with pine trees, was quite black in front.

"Till tomorrow," he said, jumping on his bicycle.

"You'll take care, won't you?" she pleaded.

"Yes."

His voice already came out of the darkness. She stood a moment watching the light from his lamp race into obscurity along the ground. She turned very slowly indoors. Orion was wheeling up over the wood, his dog twinkling after him, half smothered75. For the rest the world was full of darkness, and silent, save for the breathing of cattle in their stalls. She prayed earnestly for his safety that night. When he left her, she often lay in anxiety, wondering if he had got home safely.

He dropped down the hills on his bicycle. The roads were greasy76, so he had to let it go. He felt a pleasure as the machine plunged77 over the second, steeper drop in the hill. "Here goes!" he said. It was risky78, because of the curve in the darkness at the bottom, and because of the brewers' waggons79 with drunken waggoners asleep. His bicycle seemed to fall beneath him, and he loved it. Recklessness is almost a man's revenge on his woman. He feels he is not valued, so he will risk destroying himself to deprive her altogether.

The stars on the lake seemed to leap like grasshoppers80, silver upon the blackness, as he spun81 past. Then there was the long climb home.

"See, mother!" he said, as he threw her the berries and leaves on to the table.

"H'm!" she said, glancing at them, then away again. She sat reading, alone, as she always did.

"Aren't they pretty?"

"Yes."

He knew she was cross with him. After a few minutes he said:

"Edgar and Miriam are coming to tea tomorrow."

She did not answer.

"You don't mind?"

Still she did not answer.

"Do you?" he asked.

"You know whether I mind or not."

"I don't see why you should. I have plenty of meals there."

"You do."

"Then why do you begrudge82 them tea?"

"I begrudge whom tea?"

"What are you so horrid83 for?"

"Oh, say no more! You've asked her to tea, it's quite sufficient. She'll come."

He was very angry with his mother. He knew it was merely Miriam she objected to. He flung off his boots and went to bed.

Paul went to meet his friends the next afternoon. He was glad to see them coming. They arrived home at about four o'clock. Everywhere was clean and still for Sunday afternoon. Mrs. Morel sat in her black dress and black apron. She rose to meet the visitors. With Edgar she was cordial, but with Miriam cold and rather grudging84. Yet Paul thought the girl looked so nice in her brown cashmere frock.

He helped his mother to get the tea ready. Miriam would have gladly proffered85, but was afraid. He was rather proud of his home. There was about it now, he thought, a certain distinction. The chairs were only wooden, and the sofa was old. But the hearthrug and cushions were cosy; the pictures were prints in good taste; there was a simplicity86 in everything, and plenty of books. He was never ashamed in the least of his home, nor was Miriam of hers, because both were what they should be, and warm. And then he was proud of the table; the china was pretty, the cloth was fine. It did not matter that the spoons were not silver nor the knives ivory-handled; everything looked nice. Mrs. Morel had managed wonderfully while her children were growing up, so that nothing was out of place.

Miriam talked books a little. That was her unfailing topic. But Mrs. Morel was not cordial, and turned soon to Edgar.

At first Edgar and Miriam used to go into Mrs. Morel's pew. Morel never went to chapel87, preferring the public-house. Mrs. Morel, like a little champion, sat at the head of her pew, Paul at the other end; and at first Miriam sat next to him. Then the chapel was like home. It was a pretty place, with dark pews and slim, elegant pillars, and flowers. And the same people had sat in the same places ever since he was a boy. It was wonderfully sweet and soothing88 to sit there for an hour and a half, next to Miriam, and near to his mother, uniting his two loves under the spell of the place of worship. Then he felt warm and happy and religious at once. And after chapel he walked home with Miriam, whilst Mrs. Morel spent the rest of the evening with her old friend, Mrs. Burns. He was keenly alive on his walks on Sunday nights with Edgar and Miriam. He never went past the pits at night, by the lighted lamp-house, the tall black headstocks and lines of trucks, past the fans spinning slowly like shadows, without the feeling of Miriam returning to him, keen and almost unbearable89.

She did not very long occupy the Morels' pew. Her father took one for themselves once more. It was under the little gallery, opposite the Morels'. When Paul and his mother came in the chapel the Leivers's pew was always empty. He was anxious for fear she would not come: it was so far, and there were so many rainy Sundays. Then, often very late indeed, she came in, with her long stride, her head bowed, her face hidden under her bat of dark green velvet90. Her face, as she sat opposite, was always in shadow. But it gave him a very keen feeling, as if all his soul stirred within him, to see her there. It was not the same glow, happiness, and pride, that he felt in having his mother in charge: something more wonderful, less human, and tinged91 to intensity by a pain, as if there were something he could not get to.

At this time he was beginning to question the orthodox creed92. He was twenty-one, and she was twenty. She was beginning to dread93 the spring: he became so wild, and hurt her so much. All the way he went cruelly smashing her beliefs. Edgar enjoyed it. He was by nature critical and rather dispassionate. But Miriam suffered exquisite95 pain, as, with an intellect like a knife, the man she loved examined her religion in which she lived and moved and had her being. But he did not spare her. He was cruel. And when they went alone he was even more fierce, as if he would kill her soul. He bled her beliefs till she almost lost consciousness.

"She exults96--she exults as she carries him off from me," Mrs. Morel cried in her heart when Paul had gone. "She's not like an ordinary woman, who can leave me my share in him. She wants to absorb him. She wants to draw him out and absorb him till there is nothing left of him, even for himself. He will never be a man on his own feet--she will suck him up." So the mother sat, and battled and brooded bitterly.

And he, coming home from his walks with Miriam, was wild with torture. He walked biting his lips and with clenched97 fists, going at a great rate. Then, brought up against a stile, he stood for some minutes, and did not move. There was a great hollow of darkness fronting him, and on the black upslopes patches of tiny lights, and in the lowest trough of the night, a flare98 of the pit. It was all weird99 and dreadful. Why was he torn so, almost bewildered, and unable to move? Why did his mother sit at home and suffer? He knew she suffered badly. But why should she? And why did he hate Miriam, and feel so cruel towards her, at the thought of his mother. If Miriam caused his mother suffering, then he hated her--and he easily hated her. Why did she make him feel as if he were uncertain of himself, insecure, an indefinite thing, as if he had not sufficient sheathing100 to prevent the night and the space breaking into him? How he hated her! And then, what a rush of tenderness and humility101!

Suddenly he plunged on again, running home. His mother saw on him the marks of some agony, and she said nothing. But he had to make her talk to him. Then she was angry with him for going so far with Miriam.

"Why don't you like her, mother?" he cried in despair.

"I don't know, my boy," she replied piteously. "I'm sure I've tried to like her. I've tried and tried, but I can't--I can't!"

And he felt dreary102 and hopeless between the two.

Spring was the worst time. He was changeable, and intense and cruel. So he decided103 to stay away from her. Then came the hours when he knew Miriam was expecting him. His mother watched him growing restless. He could not go on with his work. He could do nothing. It was as if something were drawing his soul out towards Willey Farm. Then he put on his hat and went, saying nothing. And his mother knew he was gone. And as soon as he was on the way he sighed with relief. And when he was with her he was cruel again.

One day in March he lay on the bank of Nethermere, with Miriam sitting beside him. It was a glistening104, white-and-blue day. Big clouds, so brilliant, went by overhead, while shadows stole along on the water. The clear spaces in the sky were of clean, cold blue. Paul lay on his back in the old grass, looking up. He could not bear to look at Miriam. She seemed to want him, and he resisted. He resisted all the time. He wanted now to give her passion and tenderness, and he could not. He felt that she wanted the soul out of his body, and not him. All his strength and energy she drew into herself through some channel which united them. She did not want to meet him, so that there were two of them, man and woman together. She wanted to draw all of him into her. It urged him to an intensity like madness, which fascinated him, as drug-taking might.

He was discussing Michael Angelo. It felt to her as if she were fingering the very quivering tissue, the very protoplasm of life, as she heard him. It gave her deepest satisfaction. And in the end it frightened her. There he lay in the white intensity of his search, and his voice gradually filled her with fear, so level it was, almost inhuman105, as if in a trance.

"Don't talk any more," she pleaded softly, laying her hand on his forehead.

He lay quite still, almost unable to move. His body was somewhere discarded.

"Why not? Are you tired?"

"Yes, and it wears you out."

He laughed shortly, realising.

"Yet you always make me like it," he said.

"I don't wish to," she said, very low.

"Not when you've gone too far, and you feel you can't bear it. But your unconscious self always asks it of me. And I suppose I want it."

He went on, in his dead fashion:

"If only you could want ME, and not want what I can reel off for you! "



"I!" she cried bitterly--"I! Why, when would you let me take you?"

"Then it's my fault," he said, and, gathering106 himself together, he got up and began to talk trivialities. He felt insubstantial. In a vague way he hated her for it. And he knew he was as much to blame himself. This, however, did not prevent his hating her.

One evening about this time he had walked along the home road with her. They stood by the pasture leading down to the wood, unable to part. As the stars came out the clouds closed. They had glimpses of their own constellation107, Orion, towards the west. His jewels glimmered108 for a moment, his dog ran low, struggling with difficulty through the spume of cloud.

Orion was for them chief in significance among the constellations109. They had gazed at him in their strange, surcharged hours of feeling, until they seemed themselves to live in every one of his stars. This evening Paul had been moody110 and perverse111. Orion had seemed just an ordinary constellation to him. He had fought against his glamour112 and fascination. Miriam was watching her lover's mood carefully. But he said nothing that gave him away, till the moment came to part, when he stood frowning gloomily at the gathered clouds, behind which the great constellation must be striding still.

There was to be a little party at his house the next day, at which she was to attend.

"I shan't come and meet you," he said.

"Oh, very well; it's not very nice out," she replied slowly.

"It's not that--only they don't like me to. They say I care more for you than for them. And you understand, don't you? You know it's only friendship."

Miriam was astonished and hurt for him. It had cost him an effort. She left him, wanting to spare him any further humiliation113. A fine rain blew in her face as she walked along the road. She was hurt deep down; and she despised him for being blown about by any wind of authority. And in her heart of hearts, unconsciously, she felt that he was trying to get away from her. This she would never have acknowledged. She pitied him.

At this time Paul became an important factor in Jordan's warehouse114. Mr. Pappleworth left to set up a business of his own, and Paul remained with Mr. Jordan as Spiral overseer. His wages were to be raised to thirty shillings at the year-end, if things went well.

Still on Friday night Miriam often came down for her French lesson. Paul did not go so frequently to Willey Farm, and she grieved at the thought of her education's coming to end; moreover, they both loved to be together, in spite of discords115. So they read Balzac, and did compositions, and felt highly cultured.

Friday night was reckoning night for the miners. Morel "reckoned"--shared up the money of the stall--either in the New Inn at Bretty or in his own house, according as his fellow-butties wished. Barker had turned a non-drinker, so now the men reckoned at Morel's house.

Annie, who had been teaching away, was at home again. She was still a tomboy; and she was engaged to be married. Paul was studying design.

Morel was always in good spirits on Friday evening, unless the week's earnings116 were small. He bustled118 immediately after his dinner, prepared to get washed. It was decorum for the women to absent themselves while the men reckoned. Women were not supposed to spy into such a masculine privacy as the butties' reckoning, nor were they to know the exact amount of the week's earnings. So, whilst her father was spluttering in the scullery, Annie went out to spend an hour with a neighbour. Mrs. Morel attended to her baking.

"Shut that doo-er!" bawled119 Morel furiously.

Annie banged it behind her, and was gone.

"If tha oppens it again while I'm weshin' me, I'll ma'e thy jaw120 rattle121," he threatened from the midst of his soap-suds. Paul and the mother frowned to hear him.

Presently he came running out of the scullery, with the soapy water dripping from him, dithering with cold.

"Oh, my sirs!" he said. "Wheer's my towel?"

It was hung on a chair to warm before the fire, otherwise he would have bullied122 and blustered123. He squatted124 on his heels before the hot baking-fire to dry himself.

"F-ff-f!" he went, pretending to shudder125 with cold.

"Goodness, man, don't be such a kid!" said Mrs. Morel. "It's NOT cold."

"Thee strip thysen stark126 nak'd to wesh thy flesh i' that scullery," said the miner, as he rubbed his hair; "nowt b'r a ice-'ouse!"

"And I shouldn't make that fuss," replied his wife.

"No, tha'd drop down stiff, as dead as a door-knob, wi' thy nesh sides."

"Why is a door-knob deader than anything else?" asked Paul, curious.

"Eh, I dunno; that's what they say," replied his father. "But there's that much draught127 i' yon scullery, as it blows through your ribs128 like through a five-barred gate."

"It would have some difficulty in blowing through yours," said Mrs. Morel.

Morel looked down ruefully at his sides.

"Me!" he exclaimed. "I'm nowt b'r a skinned rabbit. My bones fair juts129 out on me."

"I should like to know where," retorted his wife.

"Iv'ry-wheer! I'm nobbut a sack o' faggots."

Mrs. Morel laughed. He had still a wonderfully young body, muscular, without any fat. His skin was smooth and clear. It might have been the body of a man of twenty-eight, except that there were, perhaps, too many blue scars, like tattoo-marks, where the coal-dust remained under the skin, and that his chest was too hairy. But he put his hand on his side ruefully. It was his fixed belief that, because be did not get fat, he was as thin as a starved rat. Paul looked at his father's thick, brownish hands all scarred, with broken nails, rubbing the fine smoothness of his sides, and the incongruity130 struck him. It seemed strange they were the same flesh.

"I suppose," he said to his father, "you had a good figure once."

"Eh!" exclaimed the miner, glancing round, startled and timid, like a child.

"He had," exclaimed Mrs. Morel, "if he didn't hurtle himself up as if he was trying to get in the smallest space he could."

"Me!" exclaimed Morel--"me a good figure! I wor niver much more n'r a skeleton."

"Man!" cried his wife, "don't be such a pulamiter!"

"'Strewth!" he said. "Tha's niver knowed me but what I looked as if I wor goin' off in a rapid decline."

She sat and laughed.

"You've had a constitution like iron," she said; "and never a man had a better start, if it was body that counted. You should have seen him as a young man," she cried suddenly to Paul, drawing herself up to imitate her husband's once handsome bearing.

Morel watched her shyly. He saw again the passion she had had for him. It blazed upon her for a moment. He was shy, rather scared, and humble131. Yet again he felt his old glow. And then immediately he felt the ruin he had made during these years. He wanted to bustle117 about, to run away from it.

"Gi'e my back a bit of a wesh," he asked her.

His wife brought a well-soaped flannel132 and clapped it on his shoulders. He gave a jump.

"Eh, tha mucky little 'ussy!" he cried. "Cowd as death!"

"You ought to have been a salamander," she laughed, washing his back. It was very rarely she would do anything so personal for him. The children did those things.

"The next world won't be half hot enough for you," she added.

"No," he said; "tha'lt see as it's draughty for me."

But she had finished. She wiped him in a desultory133 fashion, and went upstairs, returning immediately with his shifting-trousers. When he was dried he struggled into his shirt. Then, ruddy and shiny, with hair on end, and his flannelette shirt hanging over his pit-trousers, he stood warming the garments he was going to put on. He turned them, he pulled them inside out, he scorched134 them.

"Goodness, man!" cried Mrs. Morel, "get dressed!"

"Should thee like to clap thysen into britches as cowd as a tub o' water?" he said.

At last he took off his pit-trousers and donned decent black. He did all this on the hearthrug, as he would have done if Annie and her familiar friends had been present.

Mrs. Morel turned the bread in the oven. Then from the red earthenware135 panchion of dough136 that stood in a corner she took another handful of paste, worked it to the proper shape, and dropped it into a tin. As she was doing so Barker knocked and entered. He was a quiet, compact little man, who looked as if he would go through a stone wall. His black hair was cropped short, his head was bony. Like most miners, he was pale, but healthy and taut137.

"Evenin', missis," he nodded to Mrs. Morel, and he seated himself with a sigh.

"Good-evening," she replied cordially.

"Tha's made thy heels crack," said Morel.

"I dunno as I have," said Barker.

He sat, as the men always did in Morel's kitchen, effacing138 himself rather.

"How's missis?" she asked of him.

He had told her some time back:

"We're expectin' us third just now, you see."

"Well," he answered, rubbing his head, "she keeps pretty middlin', I think."

"Let's see--when?" asked Mrs. Morel.

"Well, I shouldn't be surprised any time now."

"Ah! And she's kept fairly?"

"Yes, tidy."

"That's a blessing, for she's none too strong."

"No. An' I've done another silly trick."

"What's that?"

Mrs. Morel knew Barker wouldn't do anything very silly.

"I'm come be-out th' market-bag."

"You can have mine."

"Nay, you'll be wantin' that yourself."

"I shan't. I take a string bag always."

She saw the determined139 little collier buying in the week's groceries and meat on the Friday nights, and she admired him. "Barker's little, but he's ten times the man you are," she said to her husband.

Just then Wesson entered. He was thin, rather frail-looking, with a boyish ingenuousness140 and a slightly foolish smile, despite his seven children. But his wife was a passionate94 woman.

"I see you've kested me," he said, smiling rather vapidly141.

"Yes," replied Barker.

The newcomer took off his cap and his big woollen muffler. His nose was pointed142 and red.

"I'm afraid you're cold, Mr. Wesson," said Mrs. Morel.

"It's a bit nippy," he replied.

"Then come to the fire."

"Nay, I s'll do where I am."

Both colliers sat away back. They could not be induced to come on to the hearth53. The hearth is sacred to the family.

"Go thy ways i' th' armchair," cried Morel cheerily.

"Nay, thank yer; I'm very nicely here."

"Yes, come, of course," insisted Mrs. Morel.

He rose and went awkwardly. He sat in Morel's armchair awkwardly. It was too great a familiarity. But the fire made him blissfully happy.

"And how's that chest of yours?" demanded Mrs. Morel.

He smiled again, with his blue eyes rather sunny.

"Oh, it's very middlin'," he said.

"Wi' a rattle in it like a kettle-drum," said Barker shortly.

"T-t-t-t!" went Mrs. Morel rapidly with her tongue. "Did you have that flannel singlet made?"

"Not yet," he smiled.

"Then, why didn't you?" she cried.

"It'll come," he smiled.

"Ah, an' Doomsday!" exclaimed Barker.

Barker and Morel were both impatient of Wesson. But, then, they were both as hard as nails, physically143.

When Morel was nearly ready he pushed the bag of money to Paul.

"Count it, boy," he asked humbly144.

Paul impatiently turned from his books and pencil, tipped the bag upside down on the table. There was a five-pound bag of silver, sovereigns and loose money. He counted quickly, referred to the checks--the written papers giving amount of coal--put the money in order. Then Barker glanced at the checks.

Mrs. Morel went upstairs, and the three men came to table. Morel, as master of the house, sat in his armchair, with his back to the hot fire. The two butties had cooler seats. None of them counted the money.

"What did we say Simpson's was?" asked Morel; and the butties cavilled145 for a minute over the dayman's earnings. Then the amount was put aside.

"An' Bill Naylor's?"

This money also was taken from the pack.

Then, because Wesson lived in one of the company's houses, and his rent had been deducted146, Morel and Barker took four-and-six each. And because Morel's coals had come, and the leading was stopped, Barker and Wesson took four shillings each. Then it was plain sailing. Morel gave each of them a sovereign till there were no more sovereigns; each half a crown till there were no more half-crowns; each a shilling till there were no more shillings. If there was anything at the end that wouldn't split, Morel took it and stood drinks.

Then the three men rose and went. Morel scuttled147 out of the house before his wife came down. She heard the door close, and descended148. She looked hastily at the bread in the oven. Then, glancing on the table, she saw her money lying. Paul had been working all the time. But now he felt his mother counting the week's money, and her wrath rising,

"T-t-t-t-t!" went her tongue.

He frowned. He could not work when she was cross. She counted again.

"A measly twenty-five shillings!" she exclaimed. "How much was the cheque?"

"Ten pounds eleven," said Paul irritably149. He dreaded150 what was coming.

"And he gives me a scrattlin' twenty-five, an' his club this week! But I know him. He thinks because YOU'RE earning he needn't keep the house any longer. No, all he has to do with his money is to guttle it. But I'll show him!"

"Oh, mother, don't!" cried Paul.

"Don't what, I should like to know?" she exclaimed.

"Don't carry on again. I can't work."

She went very quiet.

"Yes, it's all very well," she said; "but how do you think I'm going to manage?"

"Well, it won't make it any better to whittle151 about it."

"I should like to know what you'd do if you had it to put up with."

"It won't be long. You can have my money. Let him go to hell."

He went back to his work, and she tied her bonnet-strings grimly. When she was fretted he could not bear it. But now he began to insist on her recognizing him.

"The two loaves at the top," she said, "will be done in twenty minutes. Don't forget them."

"All right," he answered; and she went to market.

He remained alone working. But his usual intense concentration became unsettled. He listened for the yard-gate. At a quarter-past seven came a low knock, and Miriam entered.

"All alone?" she said.

"Yes."

As if at home, she took off her tam-o'-shanter and her long coat, hanging them up. It gave him a thrill. This might be their own house, his and hers. Then she came back and peered over his work.

"What is it?" she asked.

"Still design, for decorating stuffs, and for embroidery152."

She bent153 short-sightedly over the drawings.

It irritated him that she peered so into everything that was his, searching him out. He went into the parlour and returned with a bundle of brownish linen154. Carefully unfolding it, he spread it on the floor. It proved to be a curtain or portiere, beautifully stencilled155 with a design on roses.

"Ah, how beautiful!" she cried.

The spread cloth, with its wonderful reddish roses and dark green stems, all so simple, and somehow so wicked-looking, lay at her feet. She went on her knees before it, her dark curls dropping. He saw her crouched voluptuously156 before his work, and his heart beat quickly. Suddenly she looked up at him.

"Why does it seem cruel?" she asked.

"What?"

"There seems a feeling of cruelty about it," she said.

"It's jolly good, whether or not," he replied, folding up his work with a lover's hands.

She rose slowly, pondering.

"And what will you do with it?" she asked.

"Send it to Liberty's. I did it for my mother, but I think she'd rather have the money."

"Yes," said Miriam. He had spoken with a touch of bitterness, and Miriam sympathised. Money would have been nothing to HER.

He took the cloth back into the parlour. When he returned he threw to Miriam a smaller piece. It was a cushion-cover with the same design.

"I did that for you," he said.

She fingered the work with trembling hands, and did not speak. He became embarrassed.

"By Jove, the bread!" he cried.

He took the top loaves out, tapped them vigorously. They were done. He put them on the hearth to cool. Then he went to the scullery, wetted his hands, scooped158 the last white dough out of the punchion, and dropped it in a baking-tin. Miriam was still bent over her painted cloth. He stood rubbing the bits of dough from his hands.

"You do like it?" he asked.

She looked up at him, with her dark eyes one flame of love. He laughed uncomfortably. Then he began to talk about the design. There was for him the most intense pleasure in talking about his work to Miriam. All his passion, all his wild blood, went into this intercourse159 with her, when he talked and conceived his work. She brought forth160 to him his imaginations. She did not understand, any more than a woman understands when she conceives a child in her womb. But this was life for her and for him.

While they were talking, a young woman of about twenty-two, small and pale, hollow-eyed, yet with a relentless161 look about her, entered the room. She was a friend at the Morel's.

"Take your things off," said Paul.

"No, I'm not stopping."

She sat down in the armchair opposite Paul and Miriam, who were on the sofa. Miriam moved a little farther from him. The room was hot, with a scent162 of new bread. Brown, crisp loaves stood on the hearth.

"I shouldn't have expected to see you here to-night, Miriam Leivers," said Beatrice wickedly.

"Why not?" murmured Miriam huskily.

"Why, let's look at your shoes."

Miriam remained uncomfortably still.

"If tha doesna tha durs'na," laughed Beatrice.

Miriam put her feet from under her dress. Her boots had that queer, irresolute163, rather pathetic look about them, which showed how self-conscious and self-mistrustful she was. And they were covered with mud.

"Glory! You're a positive muck-heap," exclaimed Beatrice. "Who cleans your boots?"

"I clean them myself."

"Then you wanted a job," said Beatrice. "It would ha' taken a lot of men to ha' brought me down here to-night. But love laughs at sludge, doesn't it, 'Postle my duck?"

"Inter34 alia," he said.

"Oh, Lord! are you going to spout164 foreign languages? What does it mean, Miriam?"

There was a fine sarcasm165 in the last question, but Miriam did not see it.

"'Among other things,' I believe," she said humbly.

Beatrice put her tongue between her teeth and laughed wickedly.

"'Among other things,' 'Postle?" she repeated. "Do you mean love laughs at mothers, and fathers, and sisters, and brothers, and men friends, and lady friends, and even at the b'loved himself?"

She affected a great innocence166.

"In fact, it's one big smile," he replied.

"Up its sleeve, 'Postle Morel--you believe me," she said; and she went off into another burst of wicked, silent laughter.

Miriam sat silent, withdrawn167 into herself. Every one of Paul's friends delighted in taking sides against her, and he left her in the lurch--seemed almost to have a sort of revenge upon her then.

"Are you still at school?" asked Miriam of Beatrice.

"Yes."

"You've not had your notice, then?"

"I expect it at Easter."

"Isn't it an awful shame, to turn you off merely because you didn't pass the exam.?"

"I don't know," said Beatrice coldly.

"Agatha says you're as good as any teacher anywhere. It seems to me ridiculous. I wonder why you didn't pass."

"Short of brains, eh, 'Postle?" said Beatrice briefly168.

"Only brains to bite with," replied Paul, laughing.

"Nuisance!" she cried; and, springing from her seat, she rushed and boxed his ears. She had beautiful small hands. He held her wrists while she wrestled169 with him. At last she broke free, and seized two handfuls of his thick, dark brown hair, which she shook.

"Beat!" he said, as he pulled his hair straight with his fingers. "I hate you!"

She laughed with glee.

"Mind!" she said. "I want to sit next to you."

"I'd as lief be neighbours with a vixen," he said, nevertheless making place for her between him and Miriam.

"Did it ruffle170 his pretty hair, then!" she cried; and, with her hair-comb, she combed him straight. "And his nice little moustache!" she exclaimed. She tilted171 his head back and combed his young moustache. "It's a wicked moustache, 'Postle," she said. "It's a red for danger. Have you got any of those cigarettes?"

He pulled his cigarette-case from his pocket. Beatrice looked inside it.

"And fancy me having Connie's last cig.," said Beatrice, putting the thing between her teeth. He held a lit match to her, and she puffed172 daintily.

"Thanks so much, darling," she said mockingly.

It gave her a wicked delight.

"Don't you think he does it nicely, Miriam?" she asked.

"Oh, very!" said Miriam.

He took a cigarette for himself.

"Light, old boy?" said Beatrice, tilting173 her cigarette at him.

He bent forward to her to light his cigarette at hers. She was winking174 at him as he did so. Miriam saw his eyes trembling with mischief175, and his full, almost sensual, mouth quivering. He was not himself, and she could not bear it. As he was now, she had no connection with him; she might as well not have existed. She saw the cigarette dancing on his full red lips. She hated his thick hair for being tumbled loose on his forehead.

"Sweet boy!" said Beatrice, tipping up his chin and giving him a little kiss on the cheek.

"I s'll kiss thee back, Beat," he said.

"Tha wunna!" she giggled176, jumping up and going away. "Isn't he shameless, Miriam?"

"Quite," said Miriam. "By the way, aren't you forgetting the bread?"

"By Jove!" he cried, flinging open the oven door.

Out puffed the bluish smoke and a smell of burned bread.

"Oh, golly!" cried Beatrice, coming to his side. He crouched before the oven, she peered over his shoulder. "This is what comes of the oblivion of love, my boy."

Paul was ruefully removing the loaves. One was burnt black on the hot side; another was hard as a brick.

"Poor mater!" said Paul.

"You want to grate it," said Beatrice. "Fetch me the nutmeg-grater."

She arranged the bread in the oven. He brought the grater, and she grated the bread on to a newspaper on the table. He set the doors open to blow away the smell of burned bread. Beatrice grated away, puffing177 her cigarette, knocking the charcoal178 off the poor loaf.

"My word, Miriam! you're in for it this time," said Beatrice.

"I!" exclaimed Miriam in amazement179.

"You'd better be gone when his mother comes in. I know why King Alfred burned the cakes. Now I see it! 'Postle would fix up a tale about his work making him forget, if he thought it would wash. If that old woman had come in a bit sooner, she'd have boxed the brazen180 thing's ears who made the oblivion, instead of poor Alfred's."

She giggled as she scraped the loaf. Even Miriam laughed in spite of herself. Paul mended the fire ruefully.

The garden gate was heard to bang.

"Quick!" cried Beatrice, giving Paul the scraped loaf. "Wrap it up in a damp towel."

Paul disappeared into the scullery. Beatrice hastily blew her scrapings into the fire, and sat down innocently. Annie came bursting in. She was an abrupt181, quite smart young woman. She blinked in the strong light.

"Smell of burning!" she exclaimed.

"It's the cigarettes," replied Beatrice demurely182.

"Where's Paul?"

Leonard had followed Annie. He had a long comic face and blue eyes, very sad.

"I suppose he's left you to settle it between you," he said. He nodded sympathetically to Miriam, and became gently sarcastic183 to Beatrice.

"No," said Beatrice, "he's gone off with number nine."

"I just met number five inquiring for him," said Leonard.

"Yes--we're going to share him up like Solomon's baby," said Beatrice.

Annie laughed.

"Oh, ay," said Leonard. "And which bit should you have?"

"I don't know," said Beatrice. "I'll let all the others pick first."

"An' you'd have the leavings, like?" said Leonard, twisting up a comic face.

Annie was looking in the oven. Miriam sat ignored. Paul entered.

"This bread's a fine sight, our Paul," said Annie.

"Then you should stop an' look after it," said Paul.

"You mean YOU should do what you're reckoning to do," replied Annie.

"He should, shouldn't he!" cried Beatrice.

"I s'd think he'd got plenty on hand," said Leonard.

"You had a nasty walk, didn't you, Miriam?" said Annie.

"Yes--but I'd been in all week---"

"And you wanted a bit of a change, like," insinuated184 Leonard kindly185.

"Well, you can't be stuck in the house for ever," Annie agreed. She was quite amiable. Beatrice pulled on her coat, and went out with Leonard and Annie. She would meet her own boy.

"Don't forget that bread, our Paul," cried Annie. "Good-night, Miriam. I don't think it will rain."

When they had all gone, Paul fetched the swathed loaf, unwrapped it, and surveyed it sadly.

"It's a mess!" he said.

"But," answered Miriam impatiently, "what is it, after all--twopence, ha'penny."

"Yes, but--it's the mater's precious baking, and she'll take it to heart. However, it's no good bothering."

He took the loaf back into the scullery. There was a little distance between him and Miriam. He stood balanced opposite her for some moments considering, thinking of his behaviour with Beatrice. He felt guilty inside himself, and yet glad. For some inscrutable reason it served Miriam right. He was not going to repent186. She wondered what he was thinking of as he stood suspended. His thick hair was tumbled over his forehead. Why might she not push it back for him, and remove the marks of Beatrice's comb? Why might she not press his body with her two hands. It looked so firm, and every whit16 living. And he would let other girls, why not her?

Suddenly he started into life. It made her quiver almost with terror as he quickly pushed the hair off his forehead and came towards her.

"Half-past eight!" he said. "We'd better buck187 up. Where's your French?"

Miriam shyly and rather bitterly produced her exercise-book. Every week she wrote for him a sort of diary of her inner life, in her own French. He had found this was the only way to get her to do compositions. And her diary was mostly a love-letter. He would read it now; she felt as if her soul's history were going to be desecrated188 by him in his present mood. He sat beside her. She watched his hand, firm and warm, rigorously scoring her work. He was reading only the French, ignoring her soul that was there. But gradually his hand forgot its work. He read in silence, motionless. She quivered.

"'Ce matin les oiseaux m'ont eveille,'" he read. "'Il faisait encore un crepuscule. Mais la petite fenetre de ma chambre etait bleme, et puis, jaune, et tous les oiseaux du bois eclaterent dans un chanson vif et resonnant. Toute l'aube tressaillit. J'avais reve de vous. Est-ce que vous voyez aussi l'aube? Les oiseaux m'eveillent presque tous les matins, et toujours il y a quelque chose de terreur dans le cri des grives. Il est si clair---'"

Miriam sat tremulous, half ashamed. He remained quite still, trying to understand. He only knew she loved him. He was afraid of her love for him. It was too good for him, and he was inadequate189. His own love was at fault, not hers. Ashamed, he corrected her work, humbly writing above her words.

"Look," he said quietly, "the past participle conjugated190 with avoir agrees with the direct object when it precedes."

She bent forward, trying to see and to understand. Her free, fine curls tickled191 his face. He started as if they had been red hot, shuddering192. He saw her peering forward at the page, her red lips parted piteously, the black hair springing in fine strands193 across her tawny194, ruddy cheek. She was coloured like a pomegranate for richness. His breath came short as he watched her. Suddenly she looked up at him. Her dark eyes were naked with their love, afraid, and yearning. His eyes, too, were dark, and they hurt her. They seemed to master her. She lost all her self-control, was exposed in fear. And he knew, before he could kiss her, he must drive something out of himself. And a touch of hate for her crept back again into his heart. He returned to her exercise.

Suddenly he flung down the pencil, and was at the oven in a leap, turning the bread. For Miriam he was too quick. She started violently, and it hurt her with real pain. Even the way he crouched before the oven hurt her. There seemed to be something cruel in it, something cruel in the swift way he pitched the bread out of the tins, caught it up again. If only he had been gentle in his movements she would have felt so rich and warm. As it was, she was hurt.

He returned and finished the exercise.

"You've done well this week," he said.

She saw he was flattered by her diary. It did not repay her entirely195.

"You really do blossom out sometimes," he said. "You ought to write poetry."

She lifted her head with joy, then she shook it mistrustfully.

"I don't trust myself," she said.

"You should try!"

Again she shook her head.

"Shall we read, or is it too late?" he asked.

"It is late--but we can read just a little," she pleaded.

She was really getting now the food for her life during the next week. He made her copy Baudelaire's "Le Balcon". Then he read it for her. His voice was soft and caressing196, but growing almost brutal197. He had a way of lifting his lips and showing his teeth, passionately198 and bitterly, when he was much moved. This he did now. It made Miriam feel as if he were trampling199 on her. She dared not look at him, but sat with her head bowed. She could not understand why he got into such a tumult200 and fury. It made her wretched. She did not like Baudelaire, on the whole--nor Verlaine.


"Behold201 her singing in the field

Yon solitary202 highland203 lass."

That nourished her heart. So did "Fair Ines". And


"It was a beauteous evening, calm and pure,

And breathing holy quiet like a nun204."

These were like herself. And there was he, saying in his throat bitterly:


"Tu te rappelleras la beaute des caresses205."

The poem was finished; he took the bread out of the oven, arranging the burnt loaves at the bottom of the panchion, the good ones at the top. The desiccated loaf remained swathed up in the scullery.

"Mater needn't know till morning," he said. "It won't upset her so much then as at night."

Miriam looked in the bookcase, saw what postcards and letters he had received, saw what books were there. She took one that had interested him. Then he turned down the gas and they set off. He did not trouble to lock the door.

He was not home again until a quarter to eleven. His mother was seated in the rocking-chair. Annie, with a rope of hair hanging down her back, remained sitting on a low stool before the fire, her elbows on her knees, gloomily. On the table stood the offending loaf unswathed. Paul entered rather breathless. No one spoke157. His mother was reading the little local newspaper. He took off his coat, and went to sit down on the sofa. His mother moved curtly206 aside to let him pass. No one spoke. He was very uncomfortable. For some minutes he sat pretending to read a piece of paper he found on the table. Then-

"I forgot that bread, mother," he said.

There was no answer from either woman.

"Well," he said, "it's only twopence ha'penny. I can pay you for that."

Being angry, he put three pennies on the table and slid them towards his mother. She turned away her head. Her mouth was shut tightly.

"Yes," said Annie, "you don't know how badly my mother is!"

The girl sat staring glumly207 into the fire.

"Why is she badly?" asked Paul, in his overbearing way.

"Well!" said Annie. "She could scarcely get home."

He looked closely at his mother. She looked ill.

"WHY could you scarcely get home?" he asked her, still sharply. She would not answer.

"I found her as white as a sheet sitting here," said Annie, with a suggestion of tears in her voice.

"Well, WHY?" insisted Paul. His brows were knitting, his eyes dilating208 passionately.

"It was enough to upset anybody," said Mrs. Morel, "hugging those parcels--meat, and green-groceries, and a pair of curtains---"

"Well, why DID you hug them; you needn't have done."

"Then who would?"

"Let Annie fetch the meat."

"Yes, and I WOULD fetch the meat, but how was I to know. You were off with Miriam, instead of being in when my mother came."

"And what was the matter with you?" asked Paul of his mother.

"I suppose it's my heart," she replied. Certainly she looked bluish round the mouth.

"And have you felt it before?"

"Yes--often enough."

"Then why haven't you told me?--and why haven't you seen a doctor?"

Mrs. Morel shifted in her chair, angry with him for his hectoring.

"You'd never notice anything," said Annie. "You're too eager to be off with Miriam."

"Oh, am I--and any worse than you with Leonard?"

"I was in at a quarter to ten."

There was silence in the room for a time.

"I should have thought," said Mrs. Morel bitterly, "that she wouldn't have occupied you so entirely as to burn a whole ovenful of bread."

"Beatrice was here as well as she."

"Very likely. But we know why the bread is spoilt."

"Why?" he flashed.

"Because you were engrossed209 with Miriam," replied Mrs. Morel hotly.

"Oh, very well--then it was NOT!" he replied angrily.

He was distressed210 and wretched. Seizing a paper, he began to read. Annie, her blouse unfastened, her long ropes of hair twisted into a plait, went up to bed, bidding him a very curt73 good-night.

Paul sat pretending to read. He knew his mother wanted to upbraid211 him. He also wanted to know what had made her ill, for he was troubled. So, instead of running away to bed, as he would have liked to do, he sat and waited. There was a tense silence. The clock ticked loudly.

"You'd better go to bed before your father comes in," said the mother harshly. "And if you're going to have anything to eat, you'd better get it."

"I don't want anything."

It was his mother's custom to bring him some trifle for supper on Friday night, the night of luxury for the colliers. He was too angry to go and find it in the pantry this night. This insulted her.

"If I WANTED you to go to Selby on Friday night, I can imagine the scene," said Mrs. Morel. "But you're never too tired to go if SHE will come for you. Nay, you neither want to eat nor drink then."

"I can't let her go alone."

"Can't you? And why does she come?"

"Not because I ask her."

"She doesn't come without you want her---"

"Well, what if I DO want her---" he replied.

"Why, nothing, if it was sensible or reasonable. But to go trapseing up there miles and miles in the mud, coming home at midnight, and got to go to Nottingham in the morning---"

"If I hadn't, you'd be just the same."

"Yes, I should, because there's no sense in it. Is she so fascinating that you must follow her all that way?" Mrs. Morel was bitterly sarcastic. She sat still, with averted212 face, stroking with a rhythmic213, jerked movement, the black sateen of her apron. It was a movement that hurt Paul to see.

"I do like her," he said, "but---"

"LIKE her!" said Mrs. Morel, in the same biting tones. "It seems to me you like nothing and nobody else. There's neither Annie, nor me, nor anyone now for you."

"What nonsense, mother--you know I don't love her--I--I tell you I DON'T love her--she doesn't even walk with my arm, because I don't want her to."

"Then why do you fly to her so often?"

"I DO like to talk to her--I never said I didn't. But I DON'T love her."

"Is there nobody else to talk to?"

"Not about the things we talk of. There's a lot of things that you're not interested in, that---"

"What things?"

Mrs. Morel was so intense that Paul began to pant.

"Why--painting--and books. YOU don't care about Herbert Spencer."

"No," was the sad reply. "And YOU won't at my age."

"Well, but I do now--and Miriam does---"

"And how do you know," Mrs. Morel flashed defiantly214, "that I shouldn't. Do you ever try me!"

"But you don't, mother, you know you don't care whether a picture's decorative215 or not; you don't care what MANNER it is in."

"How do you know I don't care? Do you ever try me? Do you ever talk to me about these things, to try?"

"But it's not that that matters to you, mother, you know t's not."

"What is it, then--what is it, then, that matters to me?" she flashed. He knitted his brows with pain.

"You're old, mother, and we're young."

He only meant that the interests of HER age were not the interests of his. But he realised the moment he had spoken that he had said the wrong thing.

"Yes, I know it well--I am old. And therefore I may stand aside; I have nothing more to do with you. You only want me to wait on you--the rest is for Miriam."

He could not bear it. Instinctively216 he realised that he was life to her. And, after all, she was the chief thing to him, the only supreme217 thing.

"You know it isn't, mother, you know it isn't!"

She was moved to pity by his cry.

"It looks a great deal like it," she said, half putting aside her despair.

"No, mother--I really DON'T love her. I talk to her, but I want to come home to you."

He had taken off his collar and tie, and rose, bare-throated, to go to bed. As he stooped to kiss his mother, she threw her arms round his neck, hid her face on his shoulder, and cried, in a whimpering voice, so unlike her own that he writhed218 in agony:

"I can't bear it. I could let another woman--but not her. She'd leave me no room, not a bit of room---"

And immediately he hated Miriam bitterly.

"And I've never--you know, Paul--I've never had a husband--not really---"

He stroked his mother's hair, and his mouth was on her throat.

"And she exults so in taking you from me--she's not like ordinary girls."

"Well, I don't love her, mother," he murmured, bowing his head and hiding his eyes on her shoulder in misery219. His mother kissed him a long, fervent220 kiss.

"My boy!" she said, in a voice trembling with passionate love.

Without knowing, he gently stroked her face.

"There," said his mother, "now go to bed. You'll be so tired in the morning." As she was speaking she heard her husband coming. "There's your father--now go." Suddenly she looked at him almost as if in fear. "Perhaps I'm selfish. If you want her, take her, my boy."

His mother looked so strange, Paul kissed her, trembling.

"Ha--mother!" he said softly.

Morel came in, walking unevenly221. His hat was over one corner of his eye. He balanced in the doorway222.

"At your mischief again?" he said venomously.

Mrs. Morel's emotion turned into sudden hate of the drunkard who had come in thus upon her.

"At any rate, it is sober," she said.

"H'm--h'm! h'm--h'm!" he sneered. He went into the passage, hung up his hat and coat. Then they heard him go down three steps to the pantry. He returned with a piece of pork-pie in his fist. It was what Mrs. Morel had bought for her son.

"Nor was that bought for you. If you can give me no more than twenty-five shillings, I'm sure I'm not going to buy you pork-pie to stuff, after you've swilled223 a bellyful of beer."

"Wha-at--wha-at!" snarled Morel, toppling in his balance. "Wha-at--not for me?" He looked at the piece of meat and crust, and suddenly, in a vicious spurt224 of temper, flung it into the fire.

Paul started to his feet.

"Waste your own stuff!" he cried.

"What--what!" suddenly shouted Morel, jumping up and clenching225 his fist. "I'll show yer, yer young jockey!"

"All right!" said Paul viciously, putting his head on one side. "Show me!"

He would at that moment dearly have loved to have a smack226 at something. Morel was half crouching, fists up, ready to spring. The young man stood, smiling with his lips.

"Ussha!" hissed227 the father, swiping round with a great stroke just past his son's face. He dared not, even though so close, really touch the young man, but swerved228 an inch away.

"Right!" said Paul, his eyes upon the side of his father's mouth, where in another instant his fist would have hit. He ached for that stroke. But he heard a faint moan from behind. His mother was deadly pale and dark at the mouth. Morel was dancing up to deliver another blow.

"Father!" said Paul, so that the word rang.

Morel started, and stood at attention.

"Mother!" moaned the boy. "Mother!"

She began to struggle with herself. Her open eyes watched him, although she could not move. Gradually she was coming to herself. He laid her down on the sofa, and ran upstairs for a little whisky, which at last she could sip229. The tears were hopping230 down his face. As he kneeled in front of her he did not cry, but the tears ran down his face quickly. Morel, on the opposite side of the room, sat with his elbows on his knees glaring across.

"What's a-matter with 'er?" he asked.

"Faint!" replied Paul.

"H'm!"

The elderly man began to unlace his boots. He stumbled off to bed. His last fight was fought in that home.

Paul kneeled there, stroking his mother's hand.

"Don't be poorly, mother--don't be poorly!" he said time after time.

"It's nothing, my boy," she murmured.

At last he rose, fetched in a large piece of coal, and raked the fire. Then he cleared the room, put everything straight, laid the things for breakfast, and brought his mother's candle.

"Can you go to bed, mother?"

"Yes, I'll come."

"Sleep with Annie, mother, not with him."

"No. I'll sleep in my own bed."

"Don't sleep with him, mother."

"I'll sleep in my own bed."

She rose, and he turned out the gas, then followed her closely upstairs, carrying her candle. On the landing he kissed her close.

"Good-night, mother."

"Good-night!" she said.

He pressed his face upon the pillow in a fury of misery. And yet, somewhere in his soul, he was at peace because he still loved his mother best. It was the bitter peace of resignation.

The efforts of his father to conciliate him next day were a great humiliation to him.

Everybody tried to forget the scene.

亚瑟学徒期满了,在敏顿矿井电工车间里找了一份工作。他挣钱不多,但这个工作倒是个提高技术的机会。但他任性又浮躁,却不喝酒,也不赌博。但他总是因为头脑发热而陷入困境。他要么去树林里偷猎兔子,要么就整夜呆在诺丁汉不回家,或在贝斯伍德的运河里跳水失误,胸部碰在河底的石头和铁片上,弄得伤痕累累。

他有好几个月没去上工。一天晚上,他又没回家。

“你知道亚瑟在哪吗?”早餐时保罗问。

“我不知道。”母亲说,

“他是个傻瓜,”保罗说。“如果他真在干些什么,我倒不会介意,可不是这样,他只是因为打牌打得走不开,要不就一定要送一个溜冰场上的姑娘回去——因此回不了家,他真是个傻瓜。”

“如果他干出什么事来弄得我们丢人现眼,你说也是白说。”莫瑞尔太太说。

“哦,要是那样,我倒会更尊重他一些了。”保罗说。

“我对此很怀疑。”母亲冷冷地说。

他们继续吃着早餐。

“你很爱他吗?”保罗问母亲。

“你为什么问这个问题?”

“因为别人说女人往往喜欢最小的那个孩子。”

“别人也许是这样——可我不。不,他烦死我了。”

“你真的希望他很听话吗?”

“我倒希望他拿出点男人应有的派头。”

保罗态度生硬急躁,他也常常惹得母亲心烦。她看到那种阳光般的神色从他脸上隐去了,自然不喜欢他这样。

快要吃完早饭时,邮递员送来了一封来自德比郡的信,莫瑞尔太太眯着眼看着地址。

“给我,瞎子!”儿子叫道,从她手里夺走了信。

她吃了一惊,差一点扇了他一耳光。

“是你儿子,亚瑟的信。”他说。

“说些什么……!”莫瑞尔太太喊道。

“‘我最亲爱的妈妈’”保罗念道,“‘我不知道什么让我变得这么傻,我希望你来这儿,把我带回去。昨天,我没去上班,和杰克·克雷顿来到这里,应征入伍了。他说他已经厌透了工作,而我,你知道我是个傻瓜,我和他一起跑到这儿。’

“‘现在,我已经领了军饷,但如果你来领我,或许他们会让我跟你一起回去。我真是个傻瓜,竟然做出这种事。我不想呆在军队里。亲爱的妈妈,我只会给你添麻烦,不过,如果你能带我出去,我保证今后要长个心眼,遇事多考虑考虑……’”

莫瑞尔太太一下子跌坐在摇椅里。

“哦,好吧,”她大声说,“让他尝尝滋味。”

“对,”保罗说:“让他尝尝。”

屋里一片沉默,母亲坐在那里,两手交叉着搁在围裙上,板着脸想心事。

“我真受够了!”她突然说,“受够了!”

“嗯,”保罗说,眉头开始皱起来了。“听着,你用不着为这件事着急。”

“那么,我倒应该把这事当成一件大喜事?”她转向儿子,发火了。

“但你也用不着大惊小怪地把它当成不幸的事啊。”他反驳说。

“这个傻瓜!——一这个小傻瓜!”她叫着。

“他穿上军服看上去可帅呢,”保罗故意招惹她说。

母亲对他大发雷霆。

“哦,帅!”她大嚷着,“我看不见得。”

“他应该被编人骑兵团,那他就可以快快活活地过一段,而且打扮帅极了。”

“帅——帅——帅得不得了——还不是一个普通兵!”

“哦,”保罗说:“那我呢,不就是个普通办事员吗?”

“强多了,孩子。”母亲讥笑着大声说。

“什么?”

“不管怎么说,你是一个男子汉,不是一个穿红色军装的东西!”

“我可不在乎是不是穿红军装——或藏青色的,那颜色也许更适合我——只要他们别过分使唤我就行了。”

不过母亲已经听不进他在说什么了。

“就在他现在干的这个工作有了点发展,或者可能会有发展的时候——这个讨人嫌——却毁了自己的一生。你想想看,干了这种事的人,他还会有什么好下场?”

“这样也许会把他逼成材。”保罗说:

“逼成材!——会把他骨头里原有的那几点油都逼出来。一个士兵!——一个普通士兵!——除了一个听号令行动的驱壳外,他什么也不是!这真是件好事!”

“我真不明白,这为什么让你如此不高兴。”保罗说。

“噢,也许你不明白,但我明白。”说着,她又坐到椅子上,一手托着下巴,另一只手托着胳膊肘,满腹的怨气。

“那么你要去德比郡吗?”保罗问。

“要去。”

“那没用。”

“我想亲自去看看。”

“到底为什么你不让他待在那儿呢?这正是他需要的啊。”

“当然,”母亲大声说,“你倒挺明白他需要什么!”

她收拾好,赶乘最早的一班车去德比郡了。在那儿。她见到了儿子和军营负责人。然而,毫无用处。

晚上莫瑞尔吃饭时,她突然说:

“我今天去了德比郡一趟。”

矿工抬起眼睛,黑脸上只能看得见眼白。

“是吗,宝贝,你去那儿干吗?”

“为了那个亚瑟!”

“哦——这回又发生了什么事?”

“他刚入伍。”

莫瑞尔放下餐刀,仰靠在椅背上。

“不,”他说,“他决不会那么干的。”

“明天他就要去奥尔德肖村了。”

“啊!”莫瑞尔叫道:“真出乎意料,”他考虑的一会儿,说了声:“呣!”又接着吃起饭来。突然,他的脸变得怒气冲冲,“我希望他永远别再进我的门。”他说。

“想得真美!”莫瑞尔太太叫道:“亏你能说出这样的话!”

“我就这么说,”莫瑞尔重复着:“只有傻瓜才去当兵呢。让他自己照顾自己吧,我不再为他操心了。”

“你要是为他操过心才怪呢。”她说:

那天晚上,莫瑞尔感到都不好意思去酒馆了。

“怎么,你去过了吗?”保罗回到家后问母亲。

“去过了。”

“可以让你见他吗?”

“可以。”

“他说了些什么?”

“我走的时候,他又哭又闹。”

“哼!”

“我也哭了,你用不着‘哼’!”

莫瑞尔太太为儿子苦恼不堪,她知道他不会喜欢军队的。他确实不喜欢,纪律就叫他受不了。

“不过,那个医生,”她有点得意她对保罗说:“他说他长的匀称极了——几乎挑不出毛病。所有的测量都合格。你知道,他长得很漂亮。”

“他长得好看极了,但他却不像威廉那样会吸引女孩子,对不对?”

“是这样,因为他俩性格不一样。他很像他爸爸,不负责任。”

为了安慰母亲,保罗这一段时间不大会威利农场了。在城堡举行的秋季学生作品展览会上,有他的两幅作品,一幅是水彩风景画,另一幅是静物油画,这两幅画都得了一等奖。他兴奋极了。

一天傍晚,他回家后问:“你知道我的画得了什么吗?妈妈?”她从他的眼睛里看出他很兴高采烈。她的脸也因此兴奋得通红。

“哦,我怎么会知道呢,孩子!”

“那张画着玻璃瓶子的得了一等奖……。”

“唔!”

“还有威利农场的那幅素描,也得了一等奖。”

“两个一等奖?”

“是的!”

“唔!”

虽然什么也没说,但脸上却像玫瑰花一样红光满面,喜气洋洋。

“很好,”他说,“是不是?”

“是的。”

“那为什么你不把我捧上天呢?”

她笑了起来。

“那我把你拽不到地上可就麻烦了。”她说。

不过,她还是满怀喜悦。威廉曾经把参加体育比赛的奖带给她,她一直保存着这些东西,她还不能对他的死释然于怀。亚瑟很英俊——至少,外表不错——而旦热情大方,将来也许会干出些名堂来。不过,保罗会出人头地,她对他最有信心,因为他还不知道自己的这种能力。他的潜力大着呢。生活对她来说充满了希望,她会看到自己称心如意的一天,她所有奋斗不是徒劳无益的。

展览会期间,莫瑞尔太太瞒着保罗到城堡去了好几次。她沿着那间长长的画廊漫步走着,欣赏其它展品。是的,这些作品都不错。但这里面没有一件作品让她称心如意。有些作品让她感到妒嫉,那些画得太好了。她长久地盯着那些作品,极力想挑些毛病。突然间,她受到震动,心也狂跳起来。那儿就挂着保罗的画!她熟悉这幅画,就好象这幅画刻在她心上一样。

姓名——保罗·莫瑞尔——一等奖。

一生中,她曾在城堡画廊里看到过无数张画,现在这幅画当众挂在画廊墙上,这让她看来觉得奇怪。她四下望着,看是否有人注意她又站在这幅素描前了。

不过,她感到自己是个值得自豪的女人。当她回家经过斯宾尼公园时,碰到那些妆扮入时的太太们,她心里这样想:“是的,你们看上去挺神气的——但我想你们的儿子不见得也在城堡得过两个一等奖。”

她就这么走着,仿佛是诺丁汉最骄傲的“小妇人”了。

保罗也觉得他为母亲争了一口气,尽管这微不足道。他所有的收获都是归功于她。

一天,正当他向城堡大门走去,碰上了米丽亚姆。星期天,他已经见过她,没想到又在城里碰上了。她正跟一个相当引人注目的女人一起走着,那女人一头金发,板着脸,一副目中无人的样子。奇怪的是,米丽亚姆低头弯腰,一副沉思状,走在这个肩膀很美的女人旁边,有些相形见继。米丽亚姆审视着保罗,保罗盯着那个对他不理不睬的陌生女人。米丽亚姆看得出他的雄性气概又出现在他身上。

“嗨!”他说,“你没有告诉我会来城里啊!”

“是的,”米丽亚姆抱歉地回答,“我和爸爸一起坐车来的。”

他看看她的同伴。

“我跟你说起来道伍斯太太。”米丽亚姆声音沙哑地说,她有些紧张。“克莱拉,你认识保罗吗?”

“我记得以前见过他。”道伍斯太太跟他握了握手,冷淡地说。

她有一双目空一切的灰眼睛,雪白的皮肤,丰满的嘴巴,上唇微微翘起,不知道是表示瞧不起所有的男人呢,还是想要别人吻她。不过应该是前者,她的头朝后仰者,也许因为轻视男人的缘故而故意想避远一点吧。她戴着一顶陈旧过时的海狸皮黑帽子。穿着一身似乎非常朴素的衣服。显然她很穷,而且没有什么审美观。米丽亚姆则一向看上去很美。

“你在哪儿见过我?”保罗问这个女人。

她看着他,仿佛不屑于回答,过了会才说:“和露伊·特拉弗斯一起走的时候。”

露伊是蜷线车间的一个女工。

“哦,你认识她?”他问。

她没回答。保罗转过身来对着米丽亚姆。

“你要去哪儿?”他问。

“去城堡。”

“你准备乘哪趟火车回去?”

“我和爸爸一起坐车回去,我希望你也能来,你什么时候下班?”

“你知道一直到晚上八点,真够烦!”

这两个女人转身走了。

保罗想起来克莱拉。道伍斯是雷渥斯太太的一个老朋友的女儿。米丽亚姆选她作伴是因为她曾经在乔丹当过蜷线车间的头儿,也因为她丈夫巴克斯特·道伍斯是厂里的铁匠,专门为残破的器械打铁配件等。米丽亚姆觉得通过她,自己和乔丹厂就直接有了联系,可以更充分地了解保罗的情况了。不过,道伍斯太太和丈夫分居后,从事女权运动。她是个聪明人,这使保罗很感兴趣。

他知道迈克斯特·道伍斯这个人,但他不喜欢其人。这个铁匠大约三十一、二岁,偶尔他也从保罗的角落走过——他是个高个子,身体结实,也很引人注目,长相颇英俊,他跟妻子有一个奇怪的相似点,皮肤都很白皙,稍稍有一点明净的金黄色。他的头发是柔和的棕色,胡子是金黄色,举止态度是同样的目中无人。不过两人也有不同的地方,他的眼睛是深褐色的,滴溜溜转个不停,一副放荡轻浮的样子。眼睛还稍微有些鼓起,眼皮向下耷拉着,一幅叫人讨厌的神情。他的嘴也很丰满,给人咄咄逼人的印象。准备把任何不满意他的人打倒在地——也许他倒是对自己很不满意。

从一见面开始,道伍斯就恨保罗。他发现小伙子用艺术家的那种深思熟虑的冷漠眼光直盯他的脸,对此他大发脾气。

“你在看什么?”他气势汹汹地冷笑着说。

保罗的眼光就移到别处了。但是这个铁匠常常站在柜台后面跟帕普沃斯先生说话。他满口脏话,令人厌恶,当他又发现小伙子是用审视的冷静眼光盯着他的脸时,他吃了一惊,好象被什么刺了一下。

“你在看什么呀,臭小子?”他大吼着说,

小伙子微微耸耸肩膀。

“为什么你……”道伍斯大叫起来。

“别管他,”帕普沃斯先生用含有暗示的语调仿佛在说:“他只不过是这里不管事的小家伙,不能怪他。”

从那以后,每次这人来,保罗都用好奇而挑剔的眼光看着他,但不等碰上铁匠的眼光,他就赶紧把眼光移到别处,这让道伍斯怒火万丈。他们彼此怀恨在心。

克莱拉·道伍斯没有孩子。她离开丈夫后,这个家也崩溃了。她在娘家住着。道伍斯住在他姐姐家里,同住的还有他弟媳妇,保罗不知怎么了解到那个姑娘——露伊·特拉弗斯现在已成了道伍斯的情妇了。她是个漂亮而傲慢的轻佻女人,喜欢嘲弄保罗。然而,要是他在她回家时陪她走到车站,她却满心欢喜。

保罗又去看米丽亚姆,是在星斯六的晚上。她在起居室里生了火,正等着他呢。除了她父母和小弟弟以外,其余的都出去了。因此,起居室里只有他俩。这间长形的房子低低的,很暖和。墙上挂着保罗的三幅素描。壁炉架上挂着他的像片,桌子上和那只花梨木立式旧钢琴上放着几盆五颜六色的花卉。他坐在扶手椅上,她蹲在他脚边的炉边地毯上。火光映着她漂亮、沉思的脸庞,她跪在那儿就像个信徒。

“你觉得道伍斯太太这人怎么样?”她平静地问道。

“她看上去不太亲切。”他回答。

“不是,你不觉得她是一个漂亮的女人吗?”她声音低沉地说。

“是的——从外表来看,但没有一点审美观。我喜欢她某些方面。她这人很难相处吗?”

“我觉得不难,但我觉得她有些失意。”

“为什么而失意?”

“嗯——如果你跟这样一个男人过一辈子,你会怎么样?”

“她这么快就改变了主意,那么她为什么要跟他结婚?”

“唉,她为什么要嫁给他?”米丽亚姆痛苦地重复着。

“我原来以为她够厉害的了,可以配得上他。”他说。米丽亚姆低下了头。

“哦,”她有些挖苦地问,“你为什么会这么想?”

“看她的嘴——充满热情——还有那仰着脖子的样子……”他头向后仰着,模仿着克莱拉目空一切的样子。

米丽亚姆把头埋得更低了。

“是啊,”她说。

他心想着克莱拉的事,屋子里一片沉默。

“那么,你喜欢她的哪些方面?”她问。

“我不知道——她的皮肤和她的肌肉——还有她的——我也不知道——她身上不知哪儿有一股凶气。我是从一个艺术家的角度来欣赏她的,仅此而已。”

“哦,是这样。”

他不知道米丽亚姆为什么这么怪模怪样地蹲在那儿想心事,这让他十分反感。

“你并不是真的喜欢她,对吧?”他问姑娘。

她那双大大的黑眼睛迷惑不解地看着他。

“我喜欢她。”她说,

“你不喜欢——你不会喜欢——这不是真的。”

“那又怎么样?”她慢慢地问。

“哦,我不知道——也许你喜欢她,因为她对男人都怀恨在心。”

其实这倒很可能是他自己喜欢道伍斯太太的一个原因,不过他没想到这一点。他俩都默不作声。他习惯性地皱起眉头,特别是当他和米丽亚姆在一起的时候。她很想把他皱起的眉头抹平,他的皱眉让她感到害怕,这看上去好象是保罗·莫瑞尔身上显露出的一个不属于她的男人的标志。

花盆里的叶丛中结着一些深红色的浆果。他伸手摘了一串果子。

“即使你把这些红浆果戴在头上,”他说,“为什么你依旧看上去像一个女巫或尼姑,而根本不像一个寻求快乐的人?”

她带着一丝毫不掩饰的痛苦笑了笑。

“我不知道。”她说。

他那双有力而温暖的手正激动地摆弄着那串浆果。

“你为什么不能放声笑?”他说,“你从来没有大笑过,你只是看见什么稀奇古怪的事才笑,而且,好像还笑得不够痛快淋漓。

她好像在接受他的责备似的低着头。

“我希望你能对我尽情地笑笑,哪怕笑一分钟也好——只要笑一分钟。我觉得这样就会让什么东西得到解脱。”

“可是……”她抬起头来看着他,眼睛里充满恐惧和挣扎的神情,“我是对你笑着啊——我是这样的啊!”

“从来没有,你的笑里总带着一种紧张不安的神情,你每次发笑时,我总是想哭,你的笑里像流露着你内心的痛苦。哦,你让我的灵魂都皱起了眉头,冥思苦想。”

她绝望地轻轻地摇了摇头。

“我发誓我并不想那么笑。”她说。

“和你在一起,我总觉得自己有种罪孽感。”他大声说。

她仍然默默地思考着。“你为什么不能改变一下呢?”他看着她蹲在那里沉思的身影,他整个人好像被撕成了两半。

“难怪,现在是秋天,每个人都感觉像个游魂似的。”

又是一阵沉默。他们之间这种不正常的伤感气氛使她的灵魂都在战栗。他那双黑眼睛多么美啊,看上去就像一口深井。

“你让我变得这么神圣!”他伤心地说,“可我不想变得如此神圣。”

她突然把手指从唇边拿开,用挑战的神情看着他。但从她那大大的黑眼睛里仍然可以看出她赤裸的灵魂,身上依然闪现着那种渴望的魅力。他早就该怀着超然纯洁的心情吻她。但他无法这样吻她——她似乎也不容他有别的念头,而她内心则渴求着他。

他短促地笑了一声。

“好了,”他说,“把法语书拿来,咱们学一点——学一点韦莱纳的作品吧。”

“好的,”她无可奈何地低低地应了一声,站起身来去拿书。

她那双发红而战战兢兢的手看上去可怜极了。他想疯狂地安慰她、吻她。然而他却不敢——也不能。仿佛什么东西在阻隔着他。他不应该吻她。他们就这么念书念到夜里十点,等他们进了厨房,保罗又神态自然、轻松愉快地和米丽亚姆的父母在一起了,他的黑眼睛闪闪发亮,给他增添了无穷的魅力。

他走进马厩,去推自行车时,发现前轮胎被刺破了。

“给我端碗水来,”他对她说。“我要回去晚了,会挨骂的。”

他点上防风灯;脱下风衣,把自行车翻了过来,匆匆地开始修补。米丽亚姆端来一碗水,挨着他站着,凝望着他。她很喜欢看他的手干活时的样子。他削瘦但很有力,匆忙而从容不迫。他忙着干活,仿佛已经忘记了她的存在。她却一心一意地爱着他。她想用双手去抚摸他的身体。只要他没有渴求她的念头,她就总是想着拥抱他。

“好了!”他说着突然站起身来,“喂,你能干的比我更快一点吗?”

“不行。”她笑了。

他背对着她,挺直身体,她双手抚摸着他身体两侧,很快摸了一下。

“你真漂亮!”她说。

他笑了,有些厌恶她的声音。可是,她的双手一抚摸,他浑身即刻热血沸腾起来。她似乎没有意识到他的这些感觉。她从来没有意识到他是个男人,仿佛他只是个无欲无情的实物。

他点上自行车灯,把车子在马厩的地板上颠了几下,试试轮胎是不是补好了。然后,扣上了外衣。

“好了!”他说。

她试了试车间,她知道车问已经坏了。

“你没有修修车问吗?”她问。

“没有。”

“为什么不修一下呢?”

“后问还可以用。”

“但这不安全。”

“我可以用脚尖来刹车。”

“我希望你修修。”她低声说。

“放心好了——明天来喝茶吧,和艾德加一起来。”

“我们?”

“对——大约四点钟,我来接你们。”

“太好了。”

她开心极了。他们穿过黑黑的院子,走到门口。回头望去,只见没挂窗帘的厨房窗户里,雷渥斯夫妇的头在暖融融的炉光里映了出来。看上去舒服温馨极了。前面那条两旁有松树掩隐的大路,伸向沉沉黑夜之中。

“明天见。”他说着跳上自行车。

“你可要小心点啊,好吗?”她恳求地说。

“好的。”

他的声音消失在黑暗之中。她站了一会儿,目送着他的车灯一路穿进黑暗中去,这才慢慢地走进门。猎户座群星在树林上空盘旋,它的犬星紧跟在后面闪着光,时隐时现。除了牛栏里牛的喘息声,四周一片黑暗,万籁俱寂。她虔诚地为他晚上的平安而祈祷。每次他离开她之后,她都忧心忡忡地躺着,不知道他是否平安到家了。

他骑着自行车顺着山坡冲了下来,道路泥泞,他只好听任车子往前冲。当车子冲上第二个陡坡时,他感到一阵轻讼愉快。“加油!”他说,这可真够冒险的。因为山脚漆黑一片,弯弯曲曲,有些醉醺醺的司机昏昏沉沉地开着酒厂的货车。他的自行车好象都要把他弹下来似的。他喜欢这种感觉,玩命冒险是男人报复女人的一种方法。他感到自己不被珍视,所以他要冒险毁了自己,让她也落个空。

他飞驰过湖边,湖面上的星星像蚱蜢似的蹦跳着在黑暗中闪着银光。爬过一段长长的上坡就到家了。

“瞧,妈妈。”他说着把带叶的浆果扔到了她面前的桌上。

“呣!”她说着瞟了一眼浆果,就移开视线。她依旧像往常那样坐在那里看书。

“好看吗?”

“好看。”

他知道她对他有些不满,几分钟后他说:“艾德加和米丽亚姆明天要来吃茶点。”

她没回答。

“你不介意吧?”

她仍然没有答理。

“你介意吗?”他问。

“你知道我是不会介意的。”

“我不明白你为什么这样,我在他们家吃过好多次饭了。”

“是的。”

“那么你为什么不肯请他们吃茶点?”

“我不肯请谁吃茶点?”

“那你为什么这么反感呢?”

“噢,别说了!你已经请她来吃茶点了,这就够了,她会来的。”

他对母亲非常生气,他知道她只是不喜欢米丽亚姆,他甩掉靴子上了床。

保罗第二天下午去接他的朋友。他很高兴看见他们到来。他们大约四点左右到了保罗家。星期天的下午到处都干干净净,一片宁静。莫瑞尔太太穿着一身黑衣,系一条黑围裙坐在那里。她起身迎客时,对艾德加倒还亲切,但对米丽亚姆却有些冷淡,态度勉强。然而,保罗却认为这姑娘穿棕色开司米外套格外漂亮。

他帮妈妈把茶点准备好。米丽亚姆本来很想帮忙,但她有些害怕。他对自己的家感到自豪。他的心里想,这个家有一种特色。虽然只有几把木制椅子,沙发也是旧的,可是炉边地毯和靠垫都非常舒适,墙上的画也相当雅致,很有品味。一切都显得简单朴素,还有很多书。他从来没有为家感到羞愧过,米丽亚姆也没有。因为两个家都保持着自己的特色,而且都很温馨。保罗也为这桌茶点感到自豪,饮具十分精致,台布也非常漂亮,虽然汤匙不是银的,餐刀也没有象牙柄。但那也无伤大雅。每样东西看起来都很惬意。莫瑞尔太太在等待孩子们长大的这漫长的岁月里,把家操持得井井有条,一丝不苟。

米丽亚姆谈论了一会书籍。这是她百谈不厌的话题。但莫瑞尔太太没有多大的热情,很快她就转向艾德加了。

起初,艾德加和米丽亚姆到教堂时,常坐在莫瑞尔大大的那排长凳上。莫瑞尔从来不去做礼拜,他宁愿去酒店。莫瑞尔太太,看起来像个凯旋而归的首领,端坐在长凳的首座。保罗坐在另一头。刚开始,米丽亚姆总是挨着保罗坐。那时,礼拜堂就像家一样,是个可爱的地方,有黑色的长凳,细长雅致的柱子,还有鲜花。在保罗还小的时候,这些人就坐在自己的老位置上。对他来说,坐在米丽亚姆身边,靠近母亲,这样坐上一个半小时,在教堂的魔力感召下把两人的爱联在一起,那真是非常甜美舒畅的享受。他因此觉得温暖、幸福和虔诚。礼拜结束后,他陪米丽亚姆走回家去,莫瑞尔太太跟老朋友伯累斯太太一起度过傍晚的时光。星期天晚上,他跟艾德加和米丽亚姆一起散步的时候,总是非常活跃。每当晚上,他路过矿井,路过亮着灯的矿井室,看见又黑又高的吊车和一排排卡车驶去,经过像黑影一般慢慢转的风扇时,感觉到米丽亚姆会返回来找他。他想得几乎无法忍受。

米丽亚姆和莫瑞尔家人坐同一长凳的时间并不长,因为她父亲又重新为他们自己占了专座。就在小长廊下面,和莫瑞尔家的座位正好相对。保罗和母亲来到教堂时,雷渥斯家的座位总是空着。他内心焦急,生怕她不来,路途太远,星期天又常常下雨,她的确经常来得很晚,她低着头大步走进来,深绿色的丝绒帽遮住脸。她坐在对面,那张脸恰好被阴影遮住。不过这倒给他一种非常深的印象,仿佛看到她在那儿,他的整个灵魂都会激动起来。这与母亲呵护他的那种幸福、喜悦和自豪是不一样的。这是一种更奇妙的心境,不同寻常,像剧痛的感觉,仿佛这之间有什么他无法得到的东西。

就在这个时候,他开始探索正统的教义。他二十一岁,她二十岁。她开始害怕春天到来,他那么疯狂,深深地伤了她的感情。他的所做所为都残忍地粉碎了她的信念。艾德加对此十分赞赏。他天生挑剔而冷静。但是米丽亚姆感到非常痛苦,因为她所爱的人正在用尖刀一样锋利的智慧审视着她所信仰的宗教,而且这信仰是她生活、行动以至生命的信托。但他不放过她,他真狠心。他们两人单独在一起时,他甚至更加凶狠,仿佛他要杀了她的灵魂。他鞭答着她的信仰,以至她几乎都失去清醒的意识。

“她多高兴啊——她从我身边把他夺去了。”保罗走后,莫瑞尔太太心里大喊着,“她不像一个普通女人,不会让我在他心中保留一席之地。她要独自占有他。她要完全占有他,一点不剩,甚至给他自己也不留下一点空间。他永远也成不了一个独立的男子汉——她会把他吸干的。”母亲就这么坐着,内心苦苦地挣扎着,沉思着。

而他,送米丽亚姆回来后,苦恼不堪。他咬着嘴唇,捏着拳头,快步走来。他站在台阶前,一动不动地站了好几分钟。他面对着黑暗巨大的山谷。黑沉沉的山坡上闪烁着几盏灯火,谷底是矿井的灯光。这一切显得古怪,阴森可怕。为什么他如此烦恼,几乎疯狂,连动也不想动一下。为什么母亲坐在家里倍受痛苦煎熬?他知道母亲痛苦不堪。但她为什么这样?他为什么一想到母亲,就厌恶米丽亚姆,这么狠心地对侍她呢?如果米丽亚姆让母亲这么痛苦,他恨她——而且会毫不犹豫地恨她。为什么让他六神无主、毫无保障、失魂落魄,仿佛他没有坚强盔甲可以抵挡黑夜和空间的侵袭?他是多么地恨她啊!然而,他却对她有着满腔的柔情和谦卑!

突然,他跳起来,跑回家。母亲看到他满脸苦恼的神色,没说话。但他却非要她跟他说话,这又引起她生气责怪他不应该和米丽亚姆走那么远。

他绝望地大声喊:“你为什么不喜欢她,妈妈?”

“我不知道,孩子,”她可怜兮兮地说,“我确实努力去喜欢她,我努力了又努力,但我做不到——我做不到!”

他觉得和母亲之间的沉闷和无望。

春天变成了难忍受的时日,他性情多变,变得紧张、残忍。于是,他决定疏远米丽亚姆,可没多久,他就知道米丽亚姆正翘首等他。母亲见他烦躁不安,工作也无法进行,什么事都于不成。仿佛有什么东西把他的魂儿扯向威利农场。于是,他戴上帽子走了,一声没吭。母亲也知道他走了。一上了路,他就轻松地透了一口气。但当他和米丽亚姆在一起时,他又变得残忍起来。

三月的一天,他躺在尼瑟米尔河堤上,米丽亚姆坐在他身边。那天风和日丽、晴空万里,大朵大朵绚丽的云彩从他们头上飘过,云彩投在水面上。天空一片湛蓝,清澈明净。保罗躺在草地上望着天。他忍不住要望着米丽亚姆。她似乎也渴求他,而他却抑制着,一直抑制着。他此刻想把满腔的热爱和柔情献给她,可他不能。他感到她要的是他驱壳里的灵魂,而不是他。她通过某种把他俩联在一起的途径,把他的力量和精力吸到她自己的身体里。好不想让他们俩作为男人女人而彻底融合。她要把他整个吸到她身体里。这使他失魂落魄,就像吃了迷魂药一般。

他谈论着米开朗琪罗,听着他的谈论,她觉得自己仿佛真的触摸到那颤动的肌体组织,那生命的原生质。这给了她最深层的满足。但谈到后来,她却有些恐惧。他躺在那儿,狂热地探索着,他的声音渐渐让她害怕。他的声音那么平板,几乎不像常人的声音,倒像梦中的吃语。

“别再说了。”她温柔地肯求着,一只手抚摸着他的前额。

他静静地躺着,一动不动。他的躯体好象被他抛到何处了。

“为什么不说了?你累了?”

“是的,这也让你累啊。”

他笑了笑,清醒了一些。

“可你总是让我这样。”他说。

“我不希望这样。”她低声说。

“那只是你意识到过分,自己也感到受不了的时候。可那个连你自己也意识不到的自我,却者叫我讲,我觉得我也愿意讲。”

他继续说着,依然是那副呆板的表情。

“要是你能要我这个人,而不是要我没完没了给你讲话就好了。”

“我!”她痛楚地喊道:“我!你什么时候才能让我理解你?”

“这就是我的错了,”他说着,打起精神,站起身来开始谈一些琐碎的事,他觉得十分迷茫空虚,为此他隐隐约约地觉得恨她。他知道他自己也同样负责。但不管怎么说,这阻止不了他恨她。

就在这段时期的一天傍晚,保罗陪着米丽亚姆沿路回家。他们站在通向树林的牧场边,恋恋不舍。群星闪现,云雾掩隐。他们看了一眼西天他们自己的照命星宿猎户座。它珠光宝气闪闪发亮,它的猎狗在地平线上奔跑,竭力想从泡沫状的云层里挣扎出来。

猎户座对他们来说是星宿当中最有意义的了。每当他们感慨万千而又忧虑重重的时候,他们总是久久地凝视着猪户座,仿佛他们自己也是生活在猎户座的某一颗星星了。那天晚上,保罗心情烦躁不安,猎户座在他看来也只不过是一个普通星座,他努力地抗拒着这个星座的魅力。米丽亚姆细心地试探着她情人的心情。不过,他一点没有流露自己的心曲,直到分手的时候,他还站在那儿,阴着脸,皱着眉,望着密集的云层,云层后面的那座大星宿一定在跨步飞奔吧。

第二天他家里要举行一个小小的晚会,米丽亚姆也来参加。

“我不能来接你。”他说。

“哦,好吧,你可真不够意思。”她慢慢地回答。

“不是这样——只是他们不让我来。他们说我对你比对他们还关心。你能理解,对不对?你知道我们之间只是友谊。”

米丽亚姆吃惊极了,也被他深深地伤了感情。他是做出很大努力才说出这番话的。她离开他,省得让他更加不安。她沿着小路走着,一阵细雨扑面而来。她被伤得很深,她看不起他轻易地被舆论的风刮倒了。在她的心灵深处,已不知不觉地感到他在努力摆脱她。他永远也不会承认这是真的,她可怜他。

这时,保罗已成为乔丹货栈的重要人员,帕普沃斯先生已经离开,去做自己的买卖。保罗就接替乔丹先生的工作,当上蜷线车间的工头。如果一切顺利,到年底他的薪水就会增加到三十先令了。

每周星斯五的晚上,米丽亚姆还是常来保罗家学法语,保罗不常去威利农场了。每当她想到学习即将结束就愁眉不展。再说,虽然有些不和,他俩毕竟喜欢呆在一起。他们一起读巴尔扎克的作品、写文章,她深觉自己的修养提高了不少。

星期五晚上也是矿工们结帐的时候。结帐,就是把矿井里挣的钱分一下。不是在布雷渥的新酒店,就是在自己家里,随承包伙伴的意见。巴克戒酒了,所以这些人有时就到莫瑞尔家来结帐。

后来出去教书的安妮,现在又回到家里。虽然她已经订婚了,但仍旧是个像男孩一样顽皮的姑娘。保罗在学习设计。

莫瑞尔在星期五晚上总是心情很好,除非这星期挣得太少。晚饭后,他立刻忙碌起来,准备洗个澡。出于礼貌,男人们在结帐时,女人们不能在场,女人也不应该探听承包采煤工结帐这类男人的私事,也不应该知道这个星期挣钱的确切数目。因此,当父亲在洗碗间里水花四溅时,安妮就到邻居家呆上一小时,莫瑞尔太太则烤着面包。

“关上门!”莫瑞尔生气地吼着。

安妮砰地一声在身后带上门,走了。

“下次我洗澡时,你再敢开门,我就把你打成肉酱。”他满身肥皂泡,威胁她说。保罗和母亲”听了,不禁皱起了眉。

没多久,他从洗碗间跑了出来,身上的肥皂水嘀嗒着,冷得直哆嗦。

“哦,天哪,”他说,“我的毛巾在哪儿?”

毛巾正挂在火炉前一张椅子上烘着,否则他就会高声大骂。他蹲在烘面包的火前,把身子擦干。

“唿—唿—唿!”他装着冷的发抖的样子。

“天哪,你呀,别像个孩子样!”莫瑞尔太太说:“并不冷。”

“你倒脱了衣服到洗碗间去洗洗看,”莫瑞尔说着持了持头发,“真像个冰窖!”

“我不会那么大惊小怪的。”妻子回答。

“不,你会全身冻僵像个门把似的,直挺挺地摔在那里。”

“为什么说冻的像个门把,而不是别的什么?”保罗好奇地问。

“呃,我不知道,别人都这么说,”父亲回答,“不过洗碗间的穿堂风可真厉害,它会吹透你的肋骨,就像吹过铁栅栏大门似的。”

“要吹透你的肋骨可得费一番功夫。”莫瑞尔太太说。

莫瑞尔伤心地看着自己身体的两侧。“我!”他惊叫道:“我现在像个皮包骨头的兔子,我的骨头都,戳出来了。”

“我看看在哪儿。”妻子回答。

“到处都是,我现在只剩一把骨头了。”

莫瑞尔太太笑了起来,他仍然有一个富有活力的身材,结实、肌肉发达、没有一点脂肪、皮肤光滑干净,看起来就像一个二十八岁男人的身体。只是皮肤上有许多煤灰浸渍成的青紫色的疤痕,像刺上花一般,而且,胸脯上黄毛浓密。他伤心地把手贴在两肋上。他一直认为自己就像一只饿坏了的老鼠,因为他没有发胖。

保罗看着父亲那粗壮黑红的手伤痕累累,指甲都断裂,正抚摸他那光滑的两肋,有种不和谐的感觉,让保罗吃惊。真奇怪,这竟然是出于同一躯肉体。

“我想。”保罗对父亲说,“你以前身材一定很健美。”

“呃!”父亲惊叫了一声,四下望了望,像个孩子似的有些不好意思。

“以前是不错,”莫瑞尔太太说,如果他不是东磕西碰,天天往坑道里钻,他还会更好看些。”

“哦!”莫瑞尔惊叫道,“我有副好身材!我从来就是只有一副骨头。”

“当家的!”他妻子嚷道:“别这么苦丧着脸!”

“说真的!”他说,“你根本不知道我的身子看起来真像是在飞快地垮下去。”

她坐在那里大笑起来。

“你有一副铁板一样的身材,”她说,“如果光看身体的话,没有人能比得上你。你应该看看他年轻时的样子,”她突然对保罗大声嚷嚷着,还挺直身子学丈夫以前英俊的体态。

莫瑞尔有些不好意思地看着她。她又一次体会到往日的温情。这种热情顷刻间涌向她的内心。他却忸怩难堪,受宠若惊,一副谦恭的样子。不过,他再次回忆起过去的美好时光,便立即意识到这些年来自己的所做所为,他想赶紧干点儿什么,以躲开这种尴尬气氛。

“给我擦擦背吧,”他求她。

妻子拿起一片打肥皂的绒布,搭在他的肩膀上,他跳了起来。

“哎,你这小贱人,”他叫道,“冷得要死!”

“你应该是条火龙,”她笑着给他擦起背来。她很少为他做这样的事,都是孩子们做这些事的。

“下辈子你连这点儿都享受不到呢。”她加了一句。

“哦,”他说,“你知道这儿穿堂风不停地吹着我。”

她也已经梳洗完了。她随便给他擦了几下就上楼去。不一会,就拿着他的替换裤子下来,他擦干身子套上了衬衫。他红光满面,精神焕发,头发竖着,绒布衬衫扔在下井穿的裤子上。他站着准备把这套衣服烤一下。把衣服翻了过来烤着,给烤焦了。

“天哪!当家的,”莫瑞尔太太喊道,“穿上衣服。”

“你难道喜欢像掉到冷水桶里一样,穿上一条冰冷的裤子吗?”

他脱下下井穿的裤子,穿上讲究的黑衣服。他常在炉边地毯上换衣服。要是安妮和她要好的朋友在场,他还会这么做的。

莫瑞尔太太翻着烤炉里的面包,然后又从屋角的红色陶器和面钵里拿起一块面,揉搓成面包状,放进了铁烤箱里。她正烤着面包,巴克敲门进来了。他是个沉默寡言的人,个子矮小,身材结实,看上去仿佛能穿过一堵石墙。尖瘦的脑袋上,一头黑发剪得很短,像大多数矿工一样,他脸色苍白。不过身体健康,衣着也很整洁。

“晚上好,太太。”他冲着莫瑞尔太太点了点头,就叹了口气坐下来。

“晚上好!”她亲切地说。

“你的鞋后跟裂开了。”莫瑞尔说。

“我都不知道。”

他坐在那里,如同别人坐在莫瑞尔太太的厨房一样拘束。

“你太太怎么样?”莫瑞尔太太问。

以前他曾告诉她,

他家那位正怀着第三胎呢n

“哦,”他摸着头回答,“我觉得她还算不错。”

“我想想——什么时候生啊?”莫瑞尔太太问。

“哦,我估计现在随时都会生的。”

“噢,她确实不错吗?”

“是的,一切正常。”

“上帝保佑,她一向不太结实。”

“是的,可我又干了件蠢事。”

“什么事?”

莫瑞尔太太知道巴克不会干出太蠢的事来。

“我出来时没带去市场买东西的包。”

“你可以用我的。”

“不,你自己也要用的。”

“我不用,我总是用网兜。”

她见过这个办事果断小个子矿工在星期五晚上为家里采购杂货和肉类,对此她不禁心生敬意。她对丈夫说:“巴克虽然矮小,他比你有十倍的男子汉气概。”

就在这时,成森进来了,他非常疲倦,看上去有些虚弱。尽管他已经有了七个孩子,但他还是一副男孩似的天真相,还是一脸傻呵呵的笑,不过他的妻子倒是一个性子泼辣的女人。

“我看你们已经扔开我了吧?”他不痛快地笑着说。

“是的。”巴克回答。

刚进来的人取下了帽子和羊毛围巾,他的鼻子又尖又红。

“恐怕你冷了吧,威森先生?”莫瑞尔太太说。

“确实冷得刺骨。”他回答说。

“那就坐在火跟前吧。”

“不了,我就在这儿好了。”

两个矿工都在后面坐着,没人能劝他们坐到炉边那儿去,炉边是家中神圣的地方。

“请坐到扶手椅上吧。”莫瑞尔兴冲冲地说。

“不了,谢谢你,这儿很好。”

“来吧,来,当然应该坐这儿。”莫瑞尔太太坚持着。

他站起身笨拙地走了过去,又笨拙地坐进了莫瑞尔的扶手椅。这有点熟不拘礼。不过炉火使他感到温暖而舒适。

“你近来胸部怎么样了?”莫瑞尔太太问道。

他又微笑了,那双蓝眼睛熠熠闪光。

“哦,不错。”他回答。

“有点像开水壶里的水咕噜。”巴克不客气地说。

“啧—啧—啧!”莫瑞尔太太啧啧连声,“你那件绒布衬衫做好了吗?”

“还没有。”他微笑着说。

她大声说:“为什么还不做好?”

“快了。”他笑道。

“啊,等着去吧!”巴克叫道。

巴克和莫瑞尔两人对威森都有些不耐烦。不过,他们俩的身子还结实着呢,至少体力上是这样。

莫瑞尔一切准备就绪,他把钱包推给保罗。

“数一下,孩子。”他谦恭地说。

保罗不耐烦地放下书和笔,把钱包底朝天倒在桌上。里面有一袋银币,共计五英镑,还有金镑和一些零钱。他很快地数着,参照着帐单——帐单上写的是出煤量——把钱按顺序放好。随后巴克又看了一遍清单。

莫瑞尔太太上了楼。三个男人走到了桌边,莫瑞尔,铸为主人坐在了扶手椅上,背对着暖暖的炉火。两个包工伙伴就坐在比较冷一些的位子上。他们谁也不数钱。

“辛普生该得多少?”莫瑞尔问道。伙伴们把那个上日班工的人该得的工钱认真盘算了一遍,然后把钱放到了一边。

“还有比尔·内勒那份呢?”

这笔钱也从这一堆里扣出了。

接着,因为威森住在公司的房子里,他的房租已经在总帐中扣除了,莫瑞尔和巴克就各自拿了4先令6便士,还因为总帐中扣除了莫瑞尔家用煤的钱,巴克和威森各拿了4先令。算清这些之后事情就容易了,莫瑞尔一人一个金镑的分着,直到把金镑分完。然后又如数平分了5克朗1先令。要是最后还剩一点钱无法分,就由莫瑞尔拿着供大家喝酒用。

之后,三个男人站起身来走了。莫瑞尔趁他的妻子还没有下来,溜了出去。她听见了关门声,就下楼了。她匆匆地看了一眼烤炉里的面包,又扫了一眼桌子。她看到给她的钱放在那儿。保罗一直在忙自己的事,但现在他注意到母亲在数这星期的钱,而且越数越生气。

“啧啧啧!”她啧啧连声。

他皱起了眉。当她发火时,他就无法工作了。她又数了一遍。

“只有25先令!”她叫道,“帐单上写的是多少?”

“10镑11先令。”保罗烦躁地说。他担心要发生什么事。

“他就给我这么少,25先令,还有他这星期的俱乐部会费!不过我清楚他,他认为你在挣钱,因此他就不用管家了。不行,他挣的钱全用来大吃大喝了,我要给他点儿厉害!”

“噢,妈妈,别!”保罗喊道。

“别什么,我想知道!”她叫嚷着。

“别吵了,我都无法工作了。”

她安静了下来。

“是的,这很好,”她说,“但是你想没想过我怎么过日子呢?”

“可是,你吵吵嚷嚷的,又有什么好处呢?”

“我倒想知道如果你拿着这笔钱凑合过日子,你该怎么办?”

“没几天你就可以拿上我的钱了,让他见鬼去吧。”

他又开始工作,而她则冷冷地系上帽带。他很难忍受她发脾气的时候。但现在他开始坚持要让她认识到他的存在和作用。

“看好那两个面包,”她说,“二十分钟后就好了,别忘了取出来。”

“好的。”他回答。她去市场了。

他独自一个留在家里工作着。可是他平常思想高度集中,现在却游移不定。他听着院子木门的动静。七点一刻时传来一声轻微的敲门声,米丽亚姆进来了。

“就你一个人?”她问。

“还是设计,装饰布和刺绣的设计?”

她像个近视眼一样弯着腰观看这些画稿。

她就这么查看着他的各样东西,追问不休,这不由得让他感到烦躁。他走进起居室,拿了一捆棕色的亚麻布回来,仔细地把布展开,铺在地板上。这看上去像一个窗帘,或者门帘,上面用雕板印出一组美丽的玫瑰花图案。

“啊,真美啊!”她叫道。

这块在她脚下展开的布上,有奇妙的红玫瑰和墨绿的花茎子,图案非常简洁,可不知为什么又有一些妖艳。她跪在面前,黑黑的卷发披散了下来。他看见她妖媚地蹲在他的作品前,不由地心跳加快。突然,她抬起头来。

“为什么这幅画上有一种无情的感觉?”她问。

“什么?”

“这幅画好象有一种无情的感觉。”

“不管怎么说,这是一幅很不错的画。”他回答着,小心地把画折好。

她慢慢地站起身来,在沉思着什么。

“你准备拿它做什么?”她问。

“送到自由商行去。我是为妈妈画的这幅画,不过我想她宁愿要钱。”

“是啊。”米丽亚姆说。他刚才的话有一点儿苦涩的意味,米丽亚姆对此很表同情。对她来说钱可不算什么。

他把那块布又拿回了起居室。回来时扔给米丽亚姆一小块布。这是个设计图案完全相同的靠垫套子。

“这是我为你做的。”他说。

她双手颤抖着抚摸着这件作品,一句话也没说,他有些尴尬。

“天哪!面包!”他叫道。

他把顶层的两个面包拿了出来,轻快地拍了几下。面包已经烤热了。他把面包放在炉边冷却着。然后走到洗碗间,蘸湿了手,从面盆里拿出最后一团面,放进了烤盘。米丽亚姆还在那儿弯着腰看她的那块画布。他站在那儿搓掉了手上的面屑。

“你真的喜欢它吗?”他问。

她抬头看着他,黑色的眼睛里闪烁着爱的火花。他不太自然地笑了笑。接着又谈起了这件设计。对他来说,和米丽亚姆谈谈自己的作品是最高兴不过的事了。每当他谈到自己的作品,他和她的思想交流中就寄托了他的全部激情和狂热。是她让他产生了想像力。虽然她就象一个女人不了解她子宫里的胎儿一样,不了解他的作品。不过,这就是她和他的生活。

他们正说着,一个大约22岁左右的年轻女人走了进来。她身材矮小,面色苍白,双眼凹陷,神色冷酷。她是莫瑞尔家的一个朋友。

“把大衣脱了吧。”保罗说。

“不用了,我马上就走。”

她坐在对面的扶手椅子上,面对着坐在沙发上的保罗和米丽亚姆。米丽亚姆移动了一下,稍微离保罗远了一点。房间里充满了新鲜的烤面包味,暖烘烘的。炉边放着几块焦黄的新鲜面包。

“我没想到今晚会在这里碰到你,米里亚姆·雷渥斯。”比特丽斯不怀好意地说。

“为什么没想到?”米丽亚姆沙哑着嗓子低声说。

“咦,让我看看你的鞋。”

米丽亚姆不自在地一动不动。

“你不愿意就算了。”比特丽斯笑着说。

米丽亚姆从裙子下面伸出脚来。她的靴子看上去奇形怪状,有一种可怜兮兮的味道。这使她显得异常敏感和缺乏自信,而且靴子上沾满了泥浆。

“天哪!你这个邋遢鬼!”比特丽斯惊叫了,“谁给你擦靴子?”

“我自己擦。”

“那是你没事找事。”比特丽斯说“今晚这种天气除非有人来抬我,否则,我才不来这儿哪,不过,爱情可不怕泥泞,对吗,圣徒,我的宝贝?”

“Inter alia。”他说。

“噢,天哪!你竟装腔作势说起外国话来了?那是什么意思,米丽亚姆?”

后面这句问话中有一种显然讽刺的意味,可是米丽亚姆没有听出来。

“我想是‘除了别的以外’的意思吧。”她谦恭地说。

比特丽斯不怀好意地咬着舌头笑了起来。

“‘除了别的以外’吗,圣徒?”她重复了一遍。“你的意思是爱情对什么都付诸一笑,它不在乎父母、兄妹,也不在乎男女朋友,甚至不在乎可爱的自身。”

她装出一副天真的样子。

“的确,它可算是开怀大笑吧。”他答道。

“还不如说心里窃笑吧,圣徒莫瑞尔——请相信我,这话没错。”她说着又不怀好意地暗示不止。

米丽亚姆一声不响地坐着,蜷缩在那里,保罗的每个朋友都和她作对,而他却在这危难时刻不管不顾——看起来就好象他在此时对她进行报复。

“你还在学校里吗?”米丽亚姆问比特丽斯。

“是的。”

“那么说你还没有接到你的通知?”

“我想复活节左右就会接到的。”

“这太过分了,仅仅因为你没有通过考试就把你解雇了。”

“我也不知道。”比特丽斯冷淡地说。

“阿加莎说你和其他教师一样好。这太荒唐了,我很奇怪你怎么会没通过考试?”

“脑子不够用,对吗,圣徒?”比特丽斯简单地说。

“真是猪脑子。”保罗大笑着回答。

“胡说!”她叫着,跳起来。她冲上前去扇他耳光,她有一双美丽的小手,扭打之中,他抓住了她的手腕,她好不容易挣脱了出来,伸手抓住了他那浓密的深褐色头发直摇。

“比特!”他伸手理了理头发,喊道:“我恨你。”

她哈哈大笑起来。

“听着!”她说:“我想挨着你坐。”

“我宁愿跟一只母老虎坐在一起。”他虽然这么说,但还是在他和米丽亚姆之间给她让了个位置。

“哟,把他的漂亮头发给弄乱了!”她叫着,拿出自己的梳子给他梳好了头发,“还有他漂亮的小胡子!”她惊叫着,把她的脑袋朝后仰着,给他梳了梳小胡子。“这是邪恶的胡子,圣徒,”她说:“这是危险的红色信号。你还有那种烟吗?”

他从口袋里掏出烟盒,比特丽斯往烟盒里看了一眼。

“想不到我还能抽到康妮最后的一支烟。”比特丽斯说着,把烟叼在嘴上。他给她点了火。她优雅地吐开了烟圈。

“多谢了,亲爱的。”她嘲弄地说。

这给她一种邪恶的愉快。

“你干得漂亮吗?米丽亚姆?”她问。

“哦,非常漂亮!”米丽亚姆说。

他自己抽出了一支烟。

“火,宝贝?”比特丽斯说着,冲他翘起了烟卷。

但向前弯腰去在她的烟卷上点上了火。他冲她眨了眨眼,她也像他那样冲他眨了眨眼。米丽亚姆看见他的眼睛调皮地眨着,丰满的带有肉欲的嘴唇在颤抖着。他已不再是他自己了。这让她有些受不了。像他现在这副样子,想跟他没有任何什么关系,她还不如不在好呢。她看见那支烟在他丰满的红唇之间跳动着。她讨厌他那浓密的头发被弄得乱蓬蓬地披散在前额上。

“乖孩子!”比特丽斯说着,轻轻拍了拍他的下巴,在他脸颊上轻轻吻了一下。

“我也要吻吻你,比特。”他说。

“不行!”她咯咯笑着,跳起来躲开了。“他是不是很无耻,米丽亚姆?”

“的确。”米丽亚姆说,“噢,顺便问一下,你没忘记面包吧?”

“天哪!”他叫了一声,飞奔过去打开了烤炉门,只见一股青烟扑面而来,还有一股面包烤焦的味儿。

“哦,天哪!”比特丽斯叫着,走到他身边。他蹲在烤炉前,她从他肩膀上望过去,“这就是爱情使你忘却一切的结果,宝贝。”

保罗沮丧地把这几块面包拿出来,一只面包向火的一面被烤得乌黑,另一只硬得像块砖头。

“糟透了!”保罗说。

“你应该把面包刮一下。”比特丽斯说,“给我把刮刀拿来。”

他把炉子里面的面包整理了一下。保罗拿来了一把刮刀,她把面包焦屑刮在桌子上的一块报纸上。他打开房门,让面包的焦味散发出去。比特丽斯一边抽着烟,一边刮着面包上的焦屑。

“哎呀,米丽亚姆,这次你可得挨骂了。”比特丽斯说。

“我?”米丽亚姆惊讶地叫起来。

“我现在才明白为什么阿尔弗雷德会把糕饼烤焦了,你最好在他妈妈回来之前走掉。圣徒可以编一个谎话,就说他忙着工作忘了面包。只要他觉得这谎话还行得通就行了。要是那位老太太回来稍早一会儿,她就会打这个忘乎所以的厚脸皮东西的耳光,而不是打那个可怜的阿尔弗雷德了。”

她格格地笑着刮着面包。连米丽亚姆也忍不住笑了起来。保罗却沮丧地给炉子加着煤。

忽然听到院子大门砰地响了一声。

“快!”比特丽斯叫道,把刮好的面包递给了保罗。“把它包在湿毛巾里。”

保罗飞跑进了洗碗间。比特丽斯急忙把她刮下来的面包焦屑扔到火里,然后若无其事地坐在那里。安妮冲进来。她是个莽撞的姑娘,长得很漂亮。在强烈的灯光下她直眨巴眼睛。

“一股焦味?”她叫道。

“是烟卷的味儿。”比特丽斯一本正经地回答。

“保罗在哪儿?”

伦纳德跟着安妮进来了。他长着一张长长的脸,带有滑稽的表情,一双蓝蓝的眼睛,流露出忧郁的神色。

“我想他离开你们,是为了平息你们之间的不和吧。”他说。他对米丽亚姆同情地点了点头,又朝比特丽斯露出一丝嘲讽的表情。

“没有。”比特丽斯说:“他吃了迷魂药睡觉去了。”

“我刚碰见梦神在打听他呢。”伦纳德说。

“是啊——我们打算像所罗门判孩子那样,把他瓜分掉。”比特丽斯说。

安妮大笑起来。

“哦,嗳,”伦纳德说:“那你要哪一块呢?”

“我不知道。”比特丽斯说,“我会让别人先选。”

“你等着要剩下的对吗?”伦纳德说着做了个鬼脸。

安妮看着烤炉里面,米丽亚姆被冷落地自个坐在那儿,这时保罗走了进来。

“保罗啊,这面包可真好看。”安妮说。

“你应该停下你的活儿呆在家里烤面包。”保罗说。

“你的意思是你应该干你认为值得干的事。”安妮回答。

“他当然应该忙自己的事,这难道不对吗?”比特丽斯嚷道。

“我想他手头一定有不少活得干。”伦纳德说。

“你来的时候路很难走,是吧?米丽亚姆?”安妮说。

“是的——不过我整个星期都呆在家里。”

“你自然想换换空气了。”伦纳德善意地暗示说。

“是啊,你不能老闷在家里。”安妮赞同地说。这次她很友善。比特丽斯穿上外套和伦纳德、安妮一起出去了。她要见自己的男朋友。

“别忘了面包,保罗。”安妮喊道:“晚安,米丽亚姆。我想不可能不会下雨吧。”

他们都走了。保罗拿出那个包起来的面包,打开却沮丧地看着。

“糟透了!”他说。

“不过,”米丽亚姆不耐烦地回答道:“这又有什么呢,最多不过值两个半便士罢了。”

“是这样。但是——妈妈最重视烤面包了,她准会计较的。不过现在着急也没有用。”

他把面包又拿回了洗碗间。他和米丽亚姆之间仿佛有些隔膜。他直挺挺地站在她对面,思索了一阵子,想起刚才他和比特丽斯的行为,尽管他感到有些内疚,但还是很开心,由于某种不可确知的理由,他认为米丽亚姆活该受到这样的对待,因而他不打算表示后悔。她想知道他站在那里神情恍惚地想着什么。他那浓密的头发散在前额上,为什么她不能上前把头发给他理平整,抹去比特丽斯的梳子留下的痕迹?为什么她不能双手紧紧地拥抱他的身体呢?他的身体看上去那么结实,到处都充满活力。而且他能让别的姑娘跟她亲热,为什么就不能让她拥抱呢?”

突然,他从沉思中醒了过来,当他匆匆把头发从前额上打开,向她走来时,她害怕得发抖了。

“八点半了!”他说,“我们得抓紧时间,你的法语作业在哪儿?”

米丽亚姆不好意思地,但又有点难过地拿出了她的练习本。她每星期用法语写一篇关于自己内心生活的类似日记的作业交给他。保罗发现这是让她写作文的唯一方法。她的日记多半像情书。他现在就要念了。她觉得,让他用这种心情来念作文,她的心灵变化过程似乎真要被他亵渎了。他就坐在她身边。她看到他那温暖有力的手正严格地批改着她的作业,他念的只是法文,而忽视了日记里她的灵魂。他的手慢慢停了下来,静静地默念着,米丽亚姆一阵颤抖。

“今天早晨小鸟儿把我唤醒,”他念道,“天刚蒙蒙亮,我卧室的小窗户已经泛出白色,接着又呈现出一片金黄色。树林中鸟儿在欢唱着。歌声不绝。整个黎明似乎都在颤抖,我梦见了您,莫非您也看到了黎明?每天清晨几乎都是小鸟把我唤醒,鸫鸟的叫声中似乎流露着恐怖的情感,天是那么的蓝……”

米丽亚姆哆嗦地坐在那里,有点儿不好意思。他仍然坐在那里一动不动,尽力想理解到底是怎么回事。他只知道她爱他,但却害怕她对他的爱。这种爱对他来说是过于美好,使他无以回报。是他自己的爱已陷入误区而不是她的。出于羞愧,他批改纠正着她的作文,谦恭地在她的字上写着什么。

“看,”他平静地说,“Aroir这个词的过去分词放在前面时,变格形式要和直接宾语一致。

她俯身向前,想看看清楚,弄个明白。她那飘散的卷发挨在他脸上。他吓了一跳,仿佛被火烫了似的,竟战栗起来。他看见她盯着本子,红唇惹人怜爱地张着,黑发一缕缕披散在她那红润的脸上。她的脸色是那种石榴花的颜色。他看着看着……呼吸不由得急促起来。突然她抬起头望着他,黑黑的眼睛里分明显露着恐惧和渴望、流露出爱的深情。他的双眼也同样的幽黑,但这对眼睛伤害了她,似乎在主宰着她。她失去了自制力,显露出内心的恐惧。保罗明白自己必须先克服内心的某种障碍,才能吻她,于是对她的憎恨又悄悄地涌上心头。他又回到了她的作业本上。

突然,他扔下笔,一个箭步跨到了烤炉前去翻动面包。对于米丽亚姆来说,他这一动作太突然了,也太快了,她被吓了一大跳。这真正地伤了她的心,甚至他蹲在炉边的姿势也让她伤心。那种姿势似乎有点冷酷,甚至他匆匆地把面包扔出烤盘,又把它接住的姿势也是如此。要是他动作轻柔些,那她就会感到充实和热情。然而它不是这样的,这使她伤心。

他折身返回,改完她的作业。

“这个星期你写得很好。”他说。

她看出来他对她的日记很满意,但这不能完全补偿她的伤心。

“有些时候你的文笔确实不错。”他说:“你应该写写诗歌。”

她高兴地抬起头来,随后她又不相信地摇了摇头。

“我不相信我自己。”她说。

“你应该试一试。”

她又摇摇头。

“我们是不是该念点什么?也许太晚了。”他说。

“是不早了——不过,我们可就念一点。”她恳求地说。

她现在好象正在为自己下个星期的生活贮备精神食粮。保罗叫她抄了波特莱尔的一首《阳台》。然后他念给她听。他的声音本来柔和而亲热的,可逐渐变得粗声大气起来。他有个习惯,每当他被深深地感动时,他常常激动和痛苦地龇牙咧嘴。现在他又这么做了,这让米丽亚姆觉得好象在侮辱她。她不敢抬头看他,就那么低着头坐着。她不理解他为什么那么慷慨激昂。这让她沮丧。总的来说,她不喜欢波德莱尔。也不喜欢魏尔伦。

“看她在田野里歌唱,

远处孤独的高原上的少女。”

这样的诗句就会让她欣慰。《美丽的伊纳斯》也同样如此,还有……

“这是个美丽的夜晚,宁静而悠闲,

呼吸着修女般神圣的宁静。”

这些诗句就好象她自身的写照。而他呢,却痛苦地咕哝着:

“你回忆起了美丽少女的爱抚。”

诗念完了,他把面包从烘箱里拿了上来,把烤焦的面包放在面盆底,好的放在上面,而那只烤焦的面包仍旧包着放在洗碗间里。

“这样,妈妈到明天早晨才会发现,”他说,“那她就不会像晚上生那么大的气了。”

米丽亚姆看着书架,上面放着他收到的信和明信片,以及各类书籍,她拿了一本他感兴趣的书。然后他熄了煤气灯,同她走了出去。他连门都懒得锁。

直到夜里十一点差一刻他才回家。只见母亲正坐在摇椅上,安妮脸色阴沉地坐在炉前一张低矮的小木凳上,头发扎成一股甩在背上,两只胳膊肘撑在膝盖上。桌子上放着那只从裹着的湿毛巾里取出来的倒霉的面包。保罗上气不接下气地走了进来,屋里谁也没吭声。他的母亲正看着一张本地小报。他脱下外套,走去想坐在沙发上,母亲怒气冲冲地挪挪身子让他过去。还是没人说话,他很不自在。开始几分钟他假装坐在那儿看着他在果子上找到的一张报纸。后来——

“我忘了那只面包了,妈妈。”他说。

母女俩都没有答理他。

“得了。”他说,“那个面包只不过值两个半便士罢了,我可以赔你。”

他生气了,把三便士放在桌子上,并向母亲那边推了过去。她转过脸去,紧紧地拐着嘴。

“行了,”安妮说:“你不知道妈妈身体多不舒服。”

她坐在那儿盯着炉火。

“她为什么不舒服?”保罗不耐烦地问道。

“哼!”安妮说:“她差点都回不了家啦。”

他仔细端详着母亲,她果然看起来像病了的样子。

“为什么你差点回不了家?”他问道,神色还是很严峻。莫瑞尔太太没有回答。

“我发现她坐在这儿,脸白得像一张纸。”安妮说着,几乎要哭出来了。

“可是,为什么呢?”保罗坚持问,他紧锁双眉,大睁的眼睛里一片深情。

“任何人都会受不了的。”莫瑞尔太太说,“提着这么多包,又是肉,又是蔬菜,还有一副窗帘……”

“可是,你为什么要拿这些包呢,你用不着嘛。”

“那么谁去拿?”

“可以让安妮去拿肉。”

“是的,我可以去拿肉,但我怎么知道呢?你和米丽亚姆走了,妈妈回来时,家里就没人。”

“你到底怎么了?”保罗问母亲。

“我想可能是心脏的问题。”她回答。的确,她嘴唇发紫。

“你以前有过这种感觉吗?”

“是的——常有。”

“那你为什么不告诉我?——又为什么不去看医生?”

莫瑞尔太太在椅子上动了一下,对他的高声嚷嚷非常恼火。

“你从来不关心任何事。”安妮说,“就一心想同米丽亚姆出去。”

“哦,我是这样的吗?——哪儿比你和伦纳德差?”

“我差一刻十点就回家了。”

屋子里沉默了一阵子。

“我本来认为,”莫瑞尔太太痛苦地说:“她不会整个儿把你都勾走,弄得一炉面包全烤焦了。”

“当时比特丽斯也在这儿。”

“或许是这样。但我们清楚面包为什么被糟蹋了。”

“为什么?”他发火了。

“因为你的全部精力在米丽亚姆身上。”莫瑞尔太太冲动地说。

“哦,说得好极了——但事情根本不是这样的!”他生气地回答。

他苦恼而沮丧,抓起一张报纸就看起来。安妮脱开外套,把长头发编成了一根辫子,冷冷地跟他道了声晚安,就上楼睡觉。

保罗坐在那儿假装在念着什么。他知道母亲要责问他,可是他很担心,也想知道为什么她会犯病。他本想溜去睡觉,就因为这才没去。只是坐在那儿等待着。屋里的气氛紧张而寂静,只有时钟嘀嗒地响着。

“你最好在你爸爸还没回来之前先上床去。”母亲严厉地说:“如果你想吃什么,最好现在就去拿。”

“我什么都不想吃。”

母亲有个习惯,就是在每星期五,矿工们大吃大喝的晚上,总要给她带回来点做晚餐。今晚她太生气,不愿去伙房自己拿,这让她很气恼。

“如果我让你在星期五晚上去席尔贝,我都可以想象你是怎样一副表情。”莫瑞尔太太说,“要是她来找你,你从来不会累的,而且你连吃喝都不需要了。”

“我不能让她独自回去。”

“为什么不能?那为什么她要来呢?”

“我没让她来。”

“你不让她来,她是不会来的……”

“好,就算我让她来,那又怎么样?……”他回答说。

“哦,如果事情稍有理智或合情合理的话,那没什么。可是在烂泥里来回走好几英里,半夜才回家,而且明天一大早你还得去诺丁汉呢……”

“即使我不去,你也会同样说的”。

“对,我会。因为这事情没有道理。难道她就那么迷人,以至你必须一路送她到家?”莫瑞尔太太狠狠挖苦着他。接着,她不说话了,坐在那里,脸扭向一边,手快速有节奏地拍打着她的那黑色的棉缎围裙。这一动作让保罗看得很伤心。

“我是喜欢她,”他说,“但是……”

“喜欢她,”莫瑞尔太太说,依旧是那种讽刺的语调,“在我看来,你好象别的什么人什么东西都不喜欢了,不管是安妮还是我,还是别的什么人。”

“你胡说些什么呀,妈妈——你知道我不爱她——我——我告诉你我不爱她——她甚至从来没跟我一起手挽手走过。因为我不要她那样做。”

“那你为什么如此频繁地往她那跑!”

“我确实喜欢跟她聊天——我从没说过我不喜欢和她说话,但我确实不爱她。”

“再没有别人可以聊天了吗?”

“没人可以聊我们聊的这些东西——有好多事情你是不感兴趣的,那种……”

“什么事?”

看到莫瑞尔太太如此紧张,保罗心里不禁怦怦直跳。

“哦,比如说——画画——还有书月。你是不关心赫伯特、斯实赛的。”

“是的,”她伤心地回答说,“你到了我这年纪也不会关心的。”

“可是——我现在关心——而且米丽亚姆也是……”

“可你怎么知道,”莫瑞尔太太生气地说,“我就不会感兴趣呢?你从来不曾试着跟我谈过!”

“但你是不关心的,妈妈,你清楚你不会关心一幅画是不是具有装饰性,也不会关心一幅画是什么风格。”

“你怎么知道我不关心?你跟我谈过吗?你曾经跟我谈过这些事情,来试一下我是否关心吗?”

“但这不是你所关心的事,妈妈,你知道的。”

“那么,什么事是我所关心的?”她发火了,他痛苦地皱紧了眉头。

“你老了,妈妈,而我们正年轻。”

他本来的意思只是想说明她这个年纪的人和他这个年纪的人兴趣不同的,但话一出口,他就立刻意识到自己说错了话。

“是的,我很清楚——我老了,因此我就应该靠边站了。我和你已经没什么关系了,你只是想要我侍候你,而其他的都是米丽亚姆的。”

他无法忍受这些,他本能地意识到他就是她的生命支柱。不管怎么说,她是他生命里最重要的一部分。是他唯一至高无上的东西。

“妈,你知道不是这么回事,妈妈,根本不是这么回事!”

她被他的叫喊感动了,引起了怜悯心。

“看起来很像这么回事。”她说着,气消了一半。

“不,妈妈——我真的不爱她。虽然我跟她聊着,可心里总是想着要早点回来和你在一起。”

他已经把硬领和领带取了下来,光着个脖子站了起来,准备去睡觉了。他俯身去吻母亲时,她一把抱住他的脖子,把脸埋在他肩上,像孩子似的嘤嘤哭泣起来。这和她平时截然不同,他痛苦得身子也扭动了起来。

“我受不了。我可以容忍别的女人——但绝不是她。她不会给我留下余地,一点儿余地都没有……”

他立即对米丽亚姆憎恨起来。

“而且我从来没有过——你知道,保罗——我从来没有一个丈夫——没有真正的……”

他抚摸着母亲的头发,吻着母亲的脖子。

“她是多么得意啊,把你从我身边夺走——她和一般的姑娘不同。”

“噢,妈妈,我不爱她!”他低下头来喃喃地说,痛苦地把眼睛埋进她的肩头。母亲给了他一个炽热的长吻。

“孩子。”她声音颤抖着,充满了热爱。

不知不觉地,他轻轻地抚摸起她的脸来。

“好了,”母亲说,“睡觉去吧,要不明天早上你会疲倦的。”她正说着,听见丈夫回来了,“你爸爸来了——去吧。”突然几乎带着恐惧,她抬起头来望着他,“也许我太自私了,如果你要她,就娶她吧,孩子。”

母亲看上去有些陌生,保罗颤抖着吻了吻她。

“噢,妈妈。”他温柔地说。

莫瑞尔踉踉跄跄地走了进来,帽子斜压在一只眼角上,靠着门柱站稳。

“你们又胡闹了?他凶恶地说。

莫瑞尔太太的感情突然转变,她对这个醉鬼恨得要命,因为他竟然这样对待她。

“不管怎么说,我们也没喝得像醉鬼一样。”

“什么——什么!什么——什么!”他冷笑着,走进过道,挂好衣帽。接着他们听见他下了三级楼梯到伙房去了。回来时手里拿着一块猪肉馅饼,这是莫瑞尔太太为儿子买的。

“这可不是给你买的,如果你只给我二十五先令,我才不会在你灌了一肚子啤酒之后给你买猪肉馅饼。”

“什么——什么!”莫瑞尔咆哮着,身子摇摇晃晃,“什么不是给我买的?”他看着那肉饼,突然大发脾气,把馅饼一下子给扔进了火里。

保罗吃惊地站了起来。

“浪费你自己的东西去吧!”他大声说。

“什么——什么!”莫瑞尔突然大叫起来,跳起来,握紧了拳头。“我要给你点颜色看看,你这个臭小子!”

“来吧。”保罗狠狠地说,头一甩:“给我看看吧。”

这时候他正巴不得对什么猛揍一下,莫瑞尔半蹲着,举着拳,准备跳起来。小伙子站在那儿,唇边还带着笑。

“呜哇!”父亲嘴里嘘了一声,擦着儿子脸边猛挥了一拳。虽然很近,他也不敢真动这小伙子一下,只是在一英寸之外虚晃而过。

“好!”保罗说,眼睛盯着父亲的嘴巴,要不了多久他的拳头就会落在这儿。他真渴望着揍这一拳。但他听到身后传来一声微弱的呻吟。只见母亲脸色像死人一样苍白,嘴巴乌黑,而莫瑞尔却跳过来准备再揍一拳头。

“爸爸!”保罗大喊了一声。

莫瑞尔吃了一惊,站住了。

“妈妈!”儿子悲声喊声:“妈妈!”

她挣扎着,虽然她动不了,但睁开的眼睛却一直在望着他,逐渐地,她恢复了正常。他帮她躺在沙发上,奔到楼上拿了一点威士忌,好不容易让她抿了一点。眼泪从他脸上流了下来。他跪在她面前,没有哭出声,可泪水却不断地流下来。屋子那边的莫瑞尔,胳膊肘撑住膝盖坐着,看着这一切。

“她怎么了?”他问。

“晕了。”保罗答道。

“呣!”

莫瑞尔解开靴带,踉踉跄跄地爬上床去。他在家里的最后一仗已经打完了。

保罗跪在那儿,抚摸着母亲的手。

“别病倒啊,妈妈——别病倒啊!”他一遍又一遍地重复。

“没关系,孩子。”她喃喃地说。

最后他站起身,拿了一大块煤把火封了。接着又打扫了房间,把东西都摆放整齐,把早餐用具也摆好了,还给母亲拿来了蜡烛。

“你能上床去吗,妈妈?”

“能,我就去。”

“跟安妮睡吧,别跟他睡。”

“不,我要睡在自己的床上。”

她站起身,保罗灭掉煤气灯,拿着蜡烛,扶她上楼去。在楼梯口上他亲热地吻了她一下。

“晚安,妈妈。”

“晚安。”她说。

他万分痛苦地把头埋在枕头里。然而,在内心深处却异常平静,因为他最爱的还是他母亲,这是一种无可奈何的痛苦的平静。

第二天父亲为了和解而做出的努力,使他感到简直是一种莫大的侮辱。

每个人都竭力想去忘掉昨晚那一幕。

点击收听单词发音收听单词发音  

1 apprenticeship 4NLyv     
n.学徒身份;学徒期
参考例句:
  • She was in the second year of her apprenticeship as a carpenter. 她当木工学徒已是第二年了。
  • He served his apprenticeship with Bob. 他跟鲍勃当学徒。
2 contrived ivBzmO     
adj.不自然的,做作的;虚构的
参考例句:
  • There was nothing contrived or calculated about what he said.他说的话里没有任何蓄意捏造的成分。
  • The plot seems contrived.情节看起来不真实。
3 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。
4 jack 53Hxp     
n.插座,千斤顶,男人;v.抬起,提醒,扛举;n.(Jake)杰克
参考例句:
  • I am looking for the headphone jack.我正在找寻头戴式耳机插孔。
  • He lifted the car with a jack to change the flat tyre.他用千斤顶把车顶起来换下瘪轮胎。
5 enlisted 2d04964099d0ec430db1d422c56be9e2     
adj.应募入伍的v.(使)入伍, (使)参军( enlist的过去式和过去分词 );获得(帮助或支持)
参考例句:
  • enlisted men and women 男兵和女兵
  • He enlisted with the air force to fight against the enemy. 他应募加入空军对敌作战。 来自《现代汉英综合大词典》
6 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。
7 blessing UxDztJ     
n.祈神赐福;祷告;祝福,祝愿
参考例句:
  • The blessing was said in Hebrew.祷告用了希伯来语。
  • A double blessing has descended upon the house.双喜临门。
8 cavalry Yr3zb     
n.骑兵;轻装甲部队
参考例句:
  • We were taken in flank by a troop of cavalry. 我们翼侧受到一队骑兵的袭击。
  • The enemy cavalry rode our men down. 敌人的骑兵撞倒了我们的人。
9 regiment JATzZ     
n.团,多数,管理;v.组织,编成团,统制
参考例句:
  • As he hated army life,he decide to desert his regiment.因为他嫌恶军队生活,所以他决心背弃自己所在的那个团。
  • They reformed a division into a regiment.他们将一个师整编成为一个团。
10 swell IHnzB     
vi.膨胀,肿胀;增长,增强
参考例句:
  • The waves had taken on a deep swell.海浪汹涌。
  • His injured wrist began to swell.他那受伤的手腕开始肿了。
11 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。
12 marrow M2myE     
n.骨髓;精华;活力
参考例句:
  • It was so cold that he felt frozen to the marrow. 天气太冷了,他感到寒冷刺骨。
  • He was tired to the marrow of his bones.他真是累得筋疲力尽了。
13 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。
14 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。
15 sergeant REQzz     
n.警官,中士
参考例句:
  • His elder brother is a sergeant.他哥哥是个警官。
  • How many stripes are there on the sleeve of a sergeant?陆军中士的袖子上有多少条纹?
16 whit TgXwI     
n.一点,丝毫
参考例句:
  • There's not a whit of truth in the statement.这声明里没有丝毫的真实性。
  • He did not seem a whit concerned.他看来毫不在乎。
17 agate AKZy1     
n.玛瑙
参考例句:
  • He saw before him a flight of agate steps.他看到前面有一段玛瑙做的台阶。
  • It is round,like the size of a small yellow agate.它是圆的,大小很像一个小的黄色的玛瑙。
18 nay unjzAQ     
adv.不;n.反对票,投反对票者
参考例句:
  • He was grateful for and proud of his son's remarkable,nay,unique performance.他为儿子出色的,不,应该是独一无二的表演心怀感激和骄傲。
  • Long essays,nay,whole books have been written on this.许多长篇大论的文章,不,应该说是整部整部的书都是关于这件事的。
19 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。
20 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。
21 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。
22 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。
23 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。
24 trophies e5e690ffd5b76ced5606f229288652f6     
n.(为竞赛获胜者颁发的)奖品( trophy的名词复数 );奖杯;(尤指狩猎或战争中获得的)纪念品;(用于比赛或赛跑名称)奖
参考例句:
  • His football trophies were prominently displayed in the kitchen. 他的足球奖杯陈列在厨房里显眼的位置。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • The hunter kept the lion's skin and head as trophies. 这猎人保存狮子的皮和头作为纪念品。 来自《现代英汉综合大词典》
25 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。
26 sullen kHGzl     
adj.愠怒的,闷闷不乐的,(天气等)阴沉的
参考例句:
  • He looked up at the sullen sky.他抬头看了一眼阴沉的天空。
  • Susan was sullen in the morning because she hadn't slept well.苏珊今天早上郁闷不乐,因为昨晚没睡好。
27 defiant 6muzw     
adj.无礼的,挑战的
参考例句:
  • With a last defiant gesture,they sang a revolutionary song as they were led away to prison.他们被带走投入监狱时,仍以最后的反抗姿态唱起了一支革命歌曲。
  • He assumed a defiant attitude toward his employer.他对雇主采取挑衅的态度。
28 meditative Djpyr     
adj.沉思的,冥想的
参考例句:
  • A stupid fellow is talkative;a wise man is meditative.蠢人饶舌,智者思虑。
  • Music can induce a meditative state in the listener.音乐能够引导倾听者沉思。
29 dwarfed cf071ea166e87f1dffbae9401a9e8953     
vt.(使)显得矮小(dwarf的过去式与过去分词形式)
参考例句:
  • The old houses were dwarfed by the huge new tower blocks. 这些旧房子在新建的高楼大厦的映衬下显得十分矮小。
  • The elephant dwarfed the tortoise. 那只乌龟跟那头象相比就显得很小。 来自《简明英汉词典》
30 drawn MuXzIi     
v.拖,拉,拔出;adj.憔悴的,紧张的
参考例句:
  • All the characters in the story are drawn from life.故事中的所有人物都取材于生活。
  • Her gaze was drawn irresistibly to the scene outside.她的目光禁不住被外面的风景所吸引。
31 dowdy ZsdxQ     
adj.不整洁的;过旧的
参考例句:
  • She was in a dowdy blue frock.她穿了件不大洁净的蓝上衣。
  • She looked very plain and dowdy.她长得非常普通,衣也过时。
32 beaver uuZzU     
n.海狸,河狸
参考例句:
  • The hat is made of beaver.这顶帽子是海狸毛皮制的。
  • A beaver is an animals with big front teeth.海狸是一种长着大门牙的动物。
33 affected TzUzg0     
adj.不自然的,假装的
参考例句:
  • She showed an affected interest in our subject.她假装对我们的课题感到兴趣。
  • His manners are affected.他的态度不自然。
34 inter C5Cxa     
v.埋葬
参考例句:
  • They interred their dear comrade in the arms.他们埋葬了他们亲爱的战友。
  • The man who died in that accident has been interred.在那次事故中死的那个人已经被埋葬了。
35 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。
36 tinge 8q9yO     
vt.(较淡)着色于,染色;使带有…气息;n.淡淡色彩,些微的气息
参考例句:
  • The maple leaves are tinge with autumn red.枫叶染上了秋天的红色。
  • There was a tinge of sadness in her voice.她声音中流露出一丝忧伤。
37 defiance RmSzx     
n.挑战,挑衅,蔑视,违抗
参考例句:
  • He climbed the ladder in defiance of the warning.他无视警告爬上了那架梯子。
  • He slammed the door in a spirit of defiance.他以挑衅性的态度把门砰地一下关上。
38 protruded ebe69790c4eedce2f4fb12105fc9e9ac     
v.(使某物)伸出,(使某物)突出( protrude的过去式和过去分词 )
参考例句:
  • The child protruded his tongue. 那小孩伸出舌头。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • The creature's face seemed to be protruded, because of its bent carriage. 那人的脑袋似乎向前突出,那是因为身子佝偻的缘故。 来自英汉文学
39 eyelids 86ece0ca18a95664f58bda5de252f4e7     
n.眼睑( eyelid的名词复数 );眼睛也不眨一下;不露声色;面不改色
参考例句:
  • She was so tired, her eyelids were beginning to droop. 她太疲倦了,眼睑开始往下垂。
  • Her eyelids drooped as if she were on the verge of sleep. 她眼睑低垂好像快要睡着的样子。 来自《简明英汉词典》
40 disapproved 3ee9b7bf3f16130a59cb22aafdea92d0     
v.不赞成( disapprove的过去式和过去分词 )
参考例句:
  • My parents disapproved of my marriage. 我父母不赞成我的婚事。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • She disapproved of her son's indiscriminate television viewing. 她不赞成儿子不加选择地收看电视。 来自《简明英汉词典》
41 impersonal Ck6yp     
adj.无个人感情的,与个人无关的,非人称的
参考例句:
  • Even his children found him strangely distant and impersonal.他的孩子们也认为他跟其他人很疏远,没有人情味。
  • His manner seemed rather stiff and impersonal.他的态度似乎很生硬冷淡。
42 sneered 0e3b5b35e54fb2ad006040792a867d9f     
讥笑,冷笑( sneer的过去式和过去分词 )
参考例句:
  • He sneered at people who liked pop music. 他嘲笑喜欢流行音乐的人。
  • It's very discouraging to be sneered at all the time. 成天受嘲讽是很令人泄气的。
43 bullying f23dd48b95ce083d3774838a76074f5f     
v.恐吓,威逼( bully的现在分词 );豪;跋扈
参考例句:
  • Many cases of bullying go unreported . 很多恐吓案件都没有人告发。
  • All cases of bullying will be severely dealt with. 所有以大欺小的情况都将受到严肃处理。 来自《简明英汉词典》
44 fixed JsKzzj     
adj.固定的,不变的,准备好的;(计算机)固定的
参考例句:
  • Have you two fixed on a date for the wedding yet?你们俩选定婚期了吗?
  • Once the aim is fixed,we should not change it arbitrarily.目标一旦确定,我们就不应该随意改变。
45 snarled ti3zMA     
v.(指狗)吠,嗥叫, (人)咆哮( snarl的过去式和过去分词 );咆哮着说,厉声地说
参考例句:
  • The dog snarled at us. 狗朝我们低声吼叫。
  • As I advanced towards the dog, It'snarled and struck at me. 我朝那条狗走去时,它狂吠着向我扑来。 来自《简明英汉词典》
46 shrugged 497904474a48f991a3d1961b0476ebce     
vt.耸肩(shrug的过去式与过去分词形式)
参考例句:
  • Sam shrugged and said nothing. 萨姆耸耸肩膀,什么也没说。
  • She shrugged, feigning nonchalance. 她耸耸肩,装出一副无所谓的样子。 来自《简明英汉词典》
47 insinuating insinuating     
adj.曲意巴结的,暗示的v.暗示( insinuate的现在分词 );巧妙或迂回地潜入;(使)缓慢进入;慢慢伸入
参考例句:
  • Are you insinuating that I' m telling a lie ? 你这是意味着我是在说谎吗? 来自辞典例句
  • He is extremely insinuating, but it's a vulgar nature. 他好奉承拍马,那是种庸俗的品格。 来自辞典例句
48 sops 7c8d96c2007271332be7bbee8a377468     
n.用以慰藉或讨好某人的事物( sop的名词复数 );泡湿的面包片等v.将(面包等)在液体中蘸或浸泡( sop的第三人称单数 );用海绵、布等吸起(液体等)
参考例句:
  • The government parties may be tempted to throw a few sops to the right-wingers. 执政党也许想对右翼人士施以小恩小惠。 来自辞典例句
  • Those are all sops along the way. 这些是人生道路上的歧途。 来自辞典例句
49 lodged cbdc6941d382cc0a87d97853536fcd8d     
v.存放( lodge的过去式和过去分词 );暂住;埋入;(权利、权威等)归属
参考例句:
  • The certificate will have to be lodged at the registry. 证书必须存放在登记处。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • Our neighbours lodged a complaint against us with the police. 我们的邻居向警方控告我们。 来自《简明英汉词典》
50 insolent AbGzJ     
adj.傲慢的,无理的
参考例句:
  • His insolent manner really got my blood up.他那傲慢的态度把我的肺都气炸了。
  • It was insolent of them to demand special treatment.他们要求给予特殊待遇,脸皮真厚。
51 sketches 8d492ee1b1a5d72e6468fd0914f4a701     
n.草图( sketch的名词复数 );素描;速写;梗概
参考例句:
  • The artist is making sketches for his next painting. 画家正为他的下一幅作品画素描。
  • You have to admit that these sketches are true to life. 你得承认这些素描很逼真。 来自《简明英汉词典》
52 crouched 62634c7e8c15b8a61068e36aaed563ab     
v.屈膝,蹲伏( crouch的过去式和过去分词 )
参考例句:
  • He crouched down beside her. 他在她的旁边蹲了下来。
  • The lion crouched ready to pounce. 狮子蹲下身,准备猛扑。
53 hearth n5by9     
n.壁炉炉床,壁炉地面
参考例句:
  • She came and sat in a chair before the hearth.她走过来,在炉子前面的椅子上坐下。
  • She comes to the hearth,and switches on the electric light there.她走到壁炉那里,打开电灯。
54 pensive 2uTys     
a.沉思的,哀思的,忧沉的
参考例句:
  • He looked suddenly sombre,pensive.他突然看起来很阴郁,一副忧虑的样子。
  • He became so pensive that she didn't like to break into his thought.他陷入沉思之中,她不想打断他的思路。
55 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。
56 stature ruLw8     
n.(高度)水平,(高度)境界,身高,身材
参考例句:
  • He is five feet five inches in stature.他身高5英尺5英寸。
  • The dress models are tall of stature.时装模特儿的身材都较高。
57 queried 5c2c5662d89da782d75e74125d6f6932     
v.质疑,对…表示疑问( query的过去式和过去分词 );询问
参考例句:
  • She queried what he said. 她对他说的话表示怀疑。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • \"What does he have to do?\" queried Chin dubiously. “他有什么心事?”琴向觉民问道,她的脸上现出疑惑不解的神情。 来自汉英文学 - 家(1-26) - 家(1-26)
58 setback XzuwD     
n.退步,挫折,挫败
参考例句:
  • Since that time there has never been any setback in his career.从那时起他在事业上一直没有遇到周折。
  • She views every minor setback as a disaster.她把每个较小的挫折都看成重大灾难。
59 texture kpmwQ     
n.(织物)质地;(材料)构造;结构;肌理
参考例句:
  • We could feel the smooth texture of silk.我们能感觉出丝绸的光滑质地。
  • Her skin has a fine texture.她的皮肤细腻。
60 grudge hedzG     
n.不满,怨恨,妒嫉;vt.勉强给,不情愿做
参考例句:
  • I grudge paying so much for such inferior goods.我不愿花这么多钱买次品。
  • I do not grudge him his success.我不嫉妒他的成功。
61 liking mpXzQ5     
n.爱好;嗜好;喜欢
参考例句:
  • The word palate also means taste or liking.Palate这个词也有“口味”或“嗜好”的意思。
  • I must admit I have no liking for exaggeration.我必须承认我不喜欢夸大其词。
62 habitual x5Pyp     
adj.习惯性的;通常的,惯常的
参考例句:
  • He is a habitual criminal.他是一个惯犯。
  • They are habitual visitors to our house.他们是我家的常客。
63 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。
64 reveller ded024a8153fcae7412a8f7db3261512     
n.摆设酒宴者,饮酒狂欢者
参考例句:
65 intensity 45Ixd     
n.强烈,剧烈;强度;烈度
参考例句:
  • I didn't realize the intensity of people's feelings on this issue.我没有意识到这一问题能引起群情激奋。
  • The strike is growing in intensity.罢工日益加剧。
66 cogitate gqVz1     
v.慎重思考,思索
参考例句:
  • I need a few days to cogitate the problem.我需要几天的时间来思考这问题。
  • He sat silently cogitating.他静静地坐着沉思。
67 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
68 lamented b6ae63144a98bc66c6a97351aea85970     
adj.被哀悼的,令人遗憾的v.(为…)哀悼,痛哭,悲伤( lament的过去式和过去分词 )
参考例句:
  • her late lamented husband 她那令人怀念的已故的丈夫
  • We lamented over our bad luck. 我们为自己的不幸而悲伤。 来自《简明英汉词典》
69 yearning hezzPJ     
a.渴望的;向往的;怀念的
参考例句:
  • a yearning for a quiet life 对宁静生活的向往
  • He felt a great yearning after his old job. 他对过去的工作有一种强烈的渴想。
70 yearned df1a28ecd1f3c590db24d0d80c264305     
渴望,切盼,向往( yearn的过去式和过去分词 )
参考例句:
  • The people yearned for peace. 人民渴望和平。
  • She yearned to go back to the south. 她渴望回到南方去。
71 fascination FlHxO     
n.令人着迷的事物,魅力,迷恋
参考例句:
  • He had a deep fascination with all forms of transport.他对所有的运输工具都很着迷。
  • His letters have been a source of fascination to a wide audience.广大观众一直迷恋于他的来信。
72 punctured 921f9ed30229127d0004d394b2c18311     
v.在(某物)上穿孔( puncture的过去式和过去分词 );刺穿(某物);削弱(某人的傲气、信心等);泄某人的气
参考例句:
  • Some glass on the road punctured my new tyre. 路上的玻璃刺破了我的新轮胎。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • A nail on the road punctured the tyre. 路上的钉子把车胎戳穿了。 来自《现代汉英综合大词典》
73 curt omjyx     
adj.简短的,草率的
参考例句:
  • He gave me an extremely curt answer.他对我作了极为草率的答复。
  • He rapped out a series of curt commands.他大声发出了一连串简短的命令。
74 cosy dvnzc5     
adj.温暖而舒适的,安逸的
参考例句:
  • We spent a cosy evening chatting by the fire.我们在炉火旁聊天度过了一个舒适的晚上。
  • It was so warm and cosy in bed that Simon didn't want to get out.床上温暖而又舒适,西蒙简直不想下床了。
75 smothered b9bebf478c8f7045d977e80734a8ed1d     
(使)窒息, (使)透不过气( smother的过去式和过去分词 ); 覆盖; 忍住; 抑制
参考例句:
  • He smothered the baby with a pillow. 他用枕头把婴儿闷死了。
  • The fire is smothered by ashes. 火被灰闷熄了。
76 greasy a64yV     
adj. 多脂的,油脂的
参考例句:
  • He bought a heavy-duty cleanser to clean his greasy oven.昨天他买了强力清洁剂来清洗油污的炉子。
  • You loathe the smell of greasy food when you are seasick.当你晕船时,你会厌恶油腻的气味。
77 plunged 06a599a54b33c9d941718dccc7739582     
v.颠簸( plunge的过去式和过去分词 );暴跌;骤降;突降
参考例句:
  • The train derailed and plunged into the river. 火车脱轨栽进了河里。
  • She lost her balance and plunged 100 feet to her death. 她没有站稳,从100英尺的高处跌下摔死了。
78 risky IXVxe     
adj.有风险的,冒险的
参考例句:
  • It may be risky but we will chance it anyhow.这可能有危险,但我们无论如何要冒一冒险。
  • He is well aware how risky this investment is.他心里对这项投资的风险十分清楚。
79 waggons 7f311524bb40ea4850e619136422fbc0     
四轮的运货马车( waggon的名词复数 ); 铁路货车; 小手推车
参考例句:
  • Most transport is done by electrified waggons. 大部分货物都用电瓶车运送。
80 grasshoppers 36b89ec2ea2ca37e7a20710c9662926c     
n.蚱蜢( grasshopper的名词复数 );蝗虫;蚂蚱;(孩子)矮小的
参考例句:
  • Grasshoppers die in fall. 蚱蜢在秋天死去。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • There are usually a lot of grasshoppers in the rice fields. 稻田里通常有许多蚱蜢。 来自辞典例句
81 spun kvjwT     
v.纺,杜撰,急转身
参考例句:
  • His grandmother spun him a yarn at the fire.他奶奶在火炉边给他讲故事。
  • Her skilful fingers spun the wool out to a fine thread.她那灵巧的手指把羊毛纺成了细毛线。
82 begrudge jubzX     
vt.吝啬,羡慕
参考例句:
  • I begrudge spending so much money on train fares.我舍不得把这么多钱花在火车票上。
  • We should not begrudge our neighbour's richness.我们不应该嫉妒邻人的富有。
83 horrid arozZj     
adj.可怕的;令人惊恐的;恐怖的;极讨厌的
参考例句:
  • I'm not going to the horrid dinner party.我不打算去参加这次讨厌的宴会。
  • The medicine is horrid and she couldn't get it down.这种药很难吃,她咽不下去。
84 grudging grudging     
adj.勉强的,吝啬的
参考例句:
  • He felt a grudging respect for her talents as an organizer.他勉强地对她的组织才能表示尊重。
  • After a pause he added"sir."in a dilatory,grudging way.停了一会他才慢吞吞地、勉勉强强地加了一声“先生”。
85 proffered 30a424e11e8c2d520c7372bd6415ad07     
v.提供,贡献,提出( proffer的过去式和过去分词 )
参考例句:
  • She proffered her cheek to kiss. 她伸过自己的面颊让人亲吻。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • He rose and proffered a silver box full of cigarettes. 他站起身,伸手递过一个装满香烟的银盒子。 来自辞典例句
86 simplicity Vryyv     
n.简单,简易;朴素;直率,单纯
参考例句:
  • She dressed with elegant simplicity.她穿着朴素高雅。
  • The beauty of this plan is its simplicity.简明扼要是这个计划的一大特点。
87 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。
88 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。
89 unbearable alCwB     
adj.不能容忍的;忍受不住的
参考例句:
  • It is unbearable to be always on thorns.老是处于焦虑不安的情况中是受不了的。
  • The more he thought of it the more unbearable it became.他越想越觉得无法忍受。
90 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。
91 tinged f86e33b7d6b6ca3dd39eda835027fc59     
v.(使)发丁丁声( ting的过去式和过去分词 )
参考例句:
  • memories tinged with sadness 略带悲伤的往事
  • white petals tinged with blue 略带蓝色的白花瓣
92 creed uoxzL     
n.信条;信念,纲领
参考例句:
  • They offended against every article of his creed.他们触犯了他的每一条戒律。
  • Our creed has always been that business is business.我们的信条一直是公私分明。
93 dread Ekpz8     
vt.担忧,忧虑;惧怕,不敢;n.担忧,畏惧
参考例句:
  • We all dread to think what will happen if the company closes.我们都不敢去想一旦公司关门我们该怎么办。
  • Her heart was relieved of its blankest dread.她极度恐惧的心理消除了。
94 passionate rLDxd     
adj.热情的,热烈的,激昂的,易动情的,易怒的,性情暴躁的
参考例句:
  • He is said to be the most passionate man.据说他是最有激情的人。
  • He is very passionate about the project.他对那个项目非常热心。
95 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。
96 exults 29795f6f2e1e7222c6fa40148d07c129     
狂喜,欢跃( exult的第三人称单数 )
参考例句:
  • Success exactly exults him. 成功确使他高兴。
  • Strong man exults in his delighting in such exercises as call his muscles into action. 大力士喜欢炫耀自己的膂力,酷嗜锻炼肌肉之类的运动。
97 clenched clenched     
v.紧握,抓紧,咬紧( clench的过去式和过去分词 )
参考例句:
  • He clenched his fists in anger. 他愤怒地攥紧了拳头。
  • She clenched her hands in her lap to hide their trembling. 她攥紧双手放在腿上,以掩饰其颤抖。 来自《简明英汉词典》
98 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。
99 weird bghw8     
adj.古怪的,离奇的;怪诞的,神秘而可怕的
参考例句:
  • From his weird behaviour,he seems a bit of an oddity.从他不寻常的行为看来,他好像有点怪。
  • His weird clothes really gas me.他的怪衣裳简直笑死人。
100 sheathing 003926343c19b71c8deb7e6da20e9237     
n.覆盖物,罩子v.将(刀、剑等)插入鞘( sheathe的现在分词 );包,覆盖
参考例句:
  • The effect of nitrogen can be overcome by sheathing the flame in argon. 氮的影响则可以通过用氩气包覆火焰而予以克服。 来自辞典例句
  • Sheathing layer: PVC extruded polyethylene or in the form of weaving. 护套层:用聚乙烯或聚氯乙烯挤塑在编织层上而成的。 来自互联网
101 humility 8d6zX     
n.谦逊,谦恭
参考例句:
  • Humility often gains more than pride.谦逊往往比骄傲收益更多。
  • His voice was still soft and filled with specious humility.他的声音还是那么温和,甚至有点谦卑。
102 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。
103 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。
104 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》
105 inhuman F7NxW     
adj.残忍的,不人道的,无人性的
参考例句:
  • We must unite the workers in fighting against inhuman conditions.我们必须使工人们团结起来反对那些难以忍受的工作条件。
  • It was inhuman to refuse him permission to see his wife.不容许他去看自己的妻子是太不近人情了。
106 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。
107 constellation CptzI     
n.星座n.灿烂的一群
参考例句:
  • A constellation is a pattern of stars as seen from the earth. 一个星座只是从地球上看到的某些恒星的一种样子。
  • The Big Dipper is not by itself a constellation. 北斗七星本身不是一个星座。
108 glimmered 8dea896181075b2b225f0bf960cf3afd     
v.发闪光,发微光( glimmer的过去式和过去分词 )
参考例句:
  • "There glimmered the embroidered letter, with comfort in its unearthly ray." 她胸前绣着的字母闪着的非凡的光辉,将温暖舒适带给他人。 来自英汉 - 翻译样例 - 文学
  • The moon glimmered faintly through the mists. 月亮透过薄雾洒下微光。 来自辞典例句
109 constellations ee34f7988ee4aa80f9502f825177c85d     
n.星座( constellation的名词复数 );一群杰出人物;一系列(相关的想法、事物);一群(相关的人)
参考例句:
  • The map of the heavens showed all the northern constellations. 这份天体图标明了北半部所有的星座。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • His time was coming, he would move in the constellations of power. 他时来运转,要进入权力中心了。 来自教父部分
110 moody XEXxG     
adj.心情不稳的,易怒的,喜怒无常的
参考例句:
  • He relapsed into a moody silence.他又重新陷于忧郁的沉默中。
  • I'd never marry that girl.She's so moody.我决不会和那女孩结婚的。她太易怒了。
111 perverse 53mzI     
adj.刚愎的;坚持错误的,行为反常的
参考例句:
  • It would be perverse to stop this healthy trend.阻止这种健康发展的趋势是没有道理的。
  • She gets a perverse satisfaction from making other people embarrassed.她有一种不正常的心态,以使别人难堪来取乐。
112 glamour Keizv     
n.魔力,魅力;vt.迷住
参考例句:
  • Foreign travel has lost its glamour for her.到国外旅行对她已失去吸引力了。
  • The moonlight cast a glamour over the scene.月光给景色增添了魅力。
113 humiliation Jd3zW     
n.羞辱
参考例句:
  • He suffered the humiliation of being forced to ask for his cards.他蒙受了被迫要求辞职的羞辱。
  • He will wish to revenge his humiliation in last Season's Final.他会为在上个季度的决赛中所受的耻辱而报复的。
114 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。
115 discords d957da1b1688ede4cb4f1e8f2b1dc0ab     
不和(discord的复数形式)
参考例句:
  • There are many discords in this family. 在这个家庭里有许多争吵。
  • The speaker's opinion discords with the principles of this society. 演讲者的意见与本会的原则不符。
116 earnings rrWxJ     
n.工资收人;利润,利益,所得
参考例句:
  • That old man lives on the earnings of his daughter.那个老人靠他女儿的收入维持生活。
  • Last year there was a 20% decrease in his earnings.去年他的收入减少了20%。
117 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。
118 bustled 9467abd9ace0cff070d56f0196327c70     
闹哄哄地忙乱,奔忙( bustle的过去式和过去分词 ); 催促
参考例句:
  • She bustled around in the kitchen. 她在厨房里忙得团团转。
  • The hostress bustled about with an assumption of authority. 女主人摆出一副权威的样子忙来忙去。
119 bawled 38ced6399af307ad97598acc94294d08     
v.大叫,大喊( bawl的过去式和过去分词 );放声大哭;大声叫出;叫卖(货物)
参考例句:
  • She bawled at him in front of everyone. 她当着大家的面冲他大喊大叫。
  • My boss bawled me out for being late. 我迟到,给老板训斥了一顿。 来自《简明英汉词典》
120 jaw 5xgy9     
n.颚,颌,说教,流言蜚语;v.喋喋不休,教训
参考例句:
  • He delivered a right hook to his opponent's jaw.他给了对方下巴一记右钩拳。
  • A strong square jaw is a sign of firm character.强健的方下巴是刚毅性格的标志。
121 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。
122 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》
123 blustered a9528ebef8660f51b060e99bf21b6ae5     
v.外强中干的威吓( bluster的过去式和过去分词 );咆哮;(风)呼啸;狂吹
参考例句:
  • He blustered his way through the crowd. 他吆喝着挤出人群。 来自《现代英汉综合大词典》
  • The wind blustered around the house. 狂风呼啸着吹过房屋周围。 来自《现代英汉综合大词典》
124 squatted 45deb990f8c5186c854d710c535327b0     
v.像动物一样蹲下( squat的过去式和过去分词 );非法擅自占用(土地或房屋);为获得其所有权;而占用某片公共用地。
参考例句:
  • He squatted down beside the footprints and examined them closely. 他蹲在脚印旁仔细地观察。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • He squatted in the grass discussing with someone. 他蹲在草地上与一个人谈话。 来自《简明英汉词典》
125 shudder JEqy8     
v.战粟,震动,剧烈地摇晃;n.战粟,抖动
参考例句:
  • The sight of the coffin sent a shudder through him.看到那副棺材,他浑身一阵战栗。
  • We all shudder at the thought of the dreadful dirty place.我们一想到那可怕的肮脏地方就浑身战惊。
126 stark lGszd     
adj.荒凉的;严酷的;完全的;adv.完全地
参考例句:
  • The young man is faced with a stark choice.这位年轻人面临严峻的抉择。
  • He gave a stark denial to the rumor.他对谣言加以完全的否认。
127 draught 7uyzIH     
n.拉,牵引,拖;一网(饮,吸,阵);顿服药量,通风;v.起草,设计
参考例句:
  • He emptied his glass at one draught.他将杯中物一饮而尽。
  • It's a pity the room has no north window and you don't get a draught.可惜这房间没北窗,没有过堂风。
128 ribs 24fc137444401001077773555802b280     
n.肋骨( rib的名词复数 );(船或屋顶等的)肋拱;肋骨状的东西;(织物的)凸条花纹
参考例句:
  • He suffered cracked ribs and bruising. 他断了肋骨还有挫伤。
  • Make a small incision below the ribs. 在肋骨下方切开一个小口。
129 juts 83d8943947c7677af6ae56aab510c2e0     
v.(使)突出( jut的第三人称单数 );伸出;(从…)突出;高出
参考例句:
  • A small section of rock juts out into the harbour. 山岩的一小角突入港湾。 来自辞典例句
  • The balcony juts out over the swimming pool. 阳台伸出在游泳池上方。 来自辞典例句
130 incongruity R8Bxo     
n.不协调,不一致
参考例句:
  • She smiled at the incongruity of the question.面对这样突兀的问题,她笑了。
  • When the particular outstrips the general,we are faced with an incongruity.当特别是超过了总的来讲,我们正面临着一个不协调。
131 humble ddjzU     
adj.谦卑的,恭顺的;地位低下的;v.降低,贬低
参考例句:
  • In my humble opinion,he will win the election.依我拙见,他将在选举中获胜。
  • Defeat and failure make people humble.挫折与失败会使人谦卑。
132 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。
133 desultory BvZxp     
adj.散漫的,无方法的
参考例句:
  • Do not let the discussion fragment into a desultory conversation with no clear direction.不要让讨论变得支离破碎,成为没有明确方向的漫谈。
  • The constables made a desultory attempt to keep them away from the barn.警察漫不经心地拦着不让他们靠近谷仓。
134 scorched a5fdd52977662c80951e2b41c31587a0     
烧焦,烤焦( scorch的过去式和过去分词 ); 使(植物)枯萎,把…晒枯; 高速行驶; 枯焦
参考例句:
  • I scorched my dress when I was ironing it. 我把自己的连衣裙熨焦了。
  • The hot iron scorched the tablecloth. 热熨斗把桌布烫焦了。
135 earthenware Lr5xL     
n.土器,陶器
参考例句:
  • She made sure that the glassware and earthenware were always spotlessly clean.她总是把玻璃器皿和陶器洗刷得干干净净。
  • They displayed some bowls of glazed earthenware.他们展出了一些上釉的陶碗。
136 dough hkbzg     
n.生面团;钱,现款
参考例句:
  • She formed the dough into squares.她把生面团捏成四方块。
  • The baker is kneading dough.那位面包师在揉面。
137 taut iUazb     
adj.拉紧的,绷紧的,紧张的
参考例句:
  • The bowstring is stretched taut.弓弦绷得很紧。
  • Scarlett's taut nerves almost cracked as a sudden noise sounded in the underbrush near them. 思嘉紧张的神经几乎一下绷裂了,因为她听见附近灌木丛中突然冒出的一个声音。
138 effacing 130fde006b3e4e6a3ccd0369b9d3ad3a     
谦逊的
参考例句:
  • He was a shy, self-effacing man. 他是个腼腆谦逊的人。
  • She was a quiet woman, bigboned, and self-effacing. 她骨架很大,稳稳当当,从来不喜欢抛头露面。 来自辞典例句
139 determined duszmP     
adj.坚定的;有决心的
参考例句:
  • I have determined on going to Tibet after graduation.我已决定毕业后去西藏。
  • He determined to view the rooms behind the office.他决定查看一下办公室后面的房间。
140 ingenuousness 395b9814a605ed2dc98d4c5c4d79c23f     
n.率直;正直;老实
参考例句:
  • He would acknowledge with perfect ingenuousness that his concession had been attended with such partial good. 他坦率地承认,由于他让步的结果,招来不少坏处。 来自辞典例句
141 vapidly bc2396bf363a92b12249bc7ba2ebb428     
adv.乏味地;无滋味地;无趣味地;无生气地
参考例句:
142 pointed Il8zB4     
adj.尖的,直截了当的
参考例句:
  • He gave me a very sharp pointed pencil.他给我一支削得非常尖的铅笔。
  • She wished to show Mrs.John Dashwood by this pointed invitation to her brother.她想通过对达茨伍德夫人提出直截了当的邀请向她的哥哥表示出来。
143 physically iNix5     
adj.物质上,体格上,身体上,按自然规律
参考例句:
  • He was out of sorts physically,as well as disordered mentally.他浑身不舒服,心绪也很乱。
  • Every time I think about it I feel physically sick.一想起那件事我就感到极恶心。
144 humbly humbly     
adv. 恭顺地,谦卑地
参考例句:
  • We humbly beg Your Majesty to show mercy. 我们恳请陛下发发慈悲。
  • "You must be right, Sir,'said John humbly. “你一定是对的,先生,”约翰恭顺地说道。
145 cavilled 05773424b93be3c78910c512e927f27d     
v.挑剔,吹毛求疵( cavil的过去式 )
参考例句:
  • He cavilled at being asked to cook his own breakfast. 他嗔怪让他自己做早饭。 来自互联网
146 deducted 0dc984071646e559dd56c3bd5451fd72     
v.扣除,减去( deduct的过去式和过去分词 )
参考例句:
  • The cost of your uniform will be deducted from your wages. 制服费将从你的工资中扣除。
  • The cost of the breakages will be deducted from your pay. 损坏东西的费用将从你的工资中扣除。 来自《简明英汉词典》
147 scuttled f5d33c8cedd0ebe9ef7a35f17a1cff7e     
v.使船沉没( scuttle的过去式和过去分词 );快跑,急走
参考例句:
  • She scuttled off when she heard the sound of his voice. 听到他的说话声,她赶紧跑开了。
  • The thief scuttled off when he saw the policeman. 小偷看见警察来了便急忙跑掉。 来自《简明英汉词典》
148 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。
149 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
150 dreaded XuNzI3     
adj.令人畏惧的;害怕的v.害怕,恐惧,担心( dread的过去式和过去分词)
参考例句:
  • The dreaded moment had finally arrived. 可怕的时刻终于来到了。
  • He dreaded having to spend Christmas in hospital. 他害怕非得在医院过圣诞节不可。 来自《用法词典》
151 whittle 0oHyz     
v.削(木头),削减;n.屠刀
参考例句:
  • They are trying to whittle down our salaries.他们正着手削减我们的薪水。
  • He began to whittle away all powers of the government that he did not control.他开始削弱他所未能控制的一切政府权力。
152 embroidery Wjkz7     
n.绣花,刺绣;绣制品
参考例句:
  • This exquisite embroidery won people's great admiration.这件精美的绣品,使人惊叹不已。
  • This is Jane's first attempt at embroidery.这是简第一次试着绣花。
153 bent QQ8yD     
n.爱好,癖好;adj.弯的;决心的,一心的
参考例句:
  • He was fully bent upon the project.他一心扑在这项计划上。
  • We bent over backward to help them.我们尽了最大努力帮助他们。
154 linen W3LyK     
n.亚麻布,亚麻线,亚麻制品;adj.亚麻布制的,亚麻的
参考例句:
  • The worker is starching the linen.这名工人正在给亚麻布上浆。
  • Fine linen and cotton fabrics were known as well as wool.精细的亚麻织品和棉织品像羊毛一样闻名遐迩。
155 stencilled b7e000efba0e148f7d8ded1c406c42f5     
v.用模板印(文字或图案)( stencil的过去式和过去分词 )
参考例句:
  • He then stencilled the ceiling with a moon and stars motif. 他随后用模版在天花板上印上了月亮和繁星图案。 来自辞典例句
  • Each cage was stencilled with the name and the brand of the bull-breeder. 每只笼子上都印有公牛饲养人的姓名和商标。 来自辞典例句
156 voluptuously 9d8707a795eba47d6e0717170828f787     
adv.风骚地,体态丰满地
参考例句:
  • He sniffed the perfume voluptuously. 他纵情地闻着香水的味道。 来自互联网
157 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。
158 scooped a4cb36a9a46ab2830b09e95772d85c96     
v.抢先报道( scoop的过去式和过去分词 );(敏捷地)抱起;抢先获得;用铲[勺]等挖(洞等)
参考例句:
  • They scooped the other newspapers by revealing the matter. 他们抢先报道了这件事。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • The wheels scooped up stones which hammered ominously under the car. 车轮搅起的石块,在车身下发出不吉祥的锤击声。 来自《简明英汉词典》
159 intercourse NbMzU     
n.性交;交流,交往,交际
参考例句:
  • The magazine becomes a cultural medium of intercourse between the two peoples.该杂志成为两民族间文化交流的媒介。
  • There was close intercourse between them.他们过往很密。
160 forth Hzdz2     
adv.向前;向外,往外
参考例句:
  • The wind moved the trees gently back and forth.风吹得树轻轻地来回摇晃。
  • He gave forth a series of works in rapid succession.他很快连续发表了一系列的作品。
161 relentless VBjzv     
adj.残酷的,不留情的,无怜悯心的
参考例句:
  • The traffic noise is relentless.交通车辆的噪音一刻也不停止。
  • Their training has to be relentless.他们的训练必须是无情的。
162 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。
163 irresolute X3Vyy     
adj.无决断的,优柔寡断的,踌躇不定的
参考例句:
  • Irresolute persons make poor victors.优柔寡断的人不会成为胜利者。
  • His opponents were too irresolute to call his bluff.他的对手太优柔寡断,不敢接受挑战。
164 spout uGmzx     
v.喷出,涌出;滔滔不绝地讲;n.喷管;水柱
参考例句:
  • Implication in folk wealth creativity and undertaking vigor spout.蕴藏于民间的财富创造力和创业活力喷涌而出。
  • This acts as a spout to drain off water during a rainstorm.在暴风雨季,这东西被用作喷管来排水。
165 sarcasm 1CLzI     
n.讥讽,讽刺,嘲弄,反话 (adj.sarcastic)
参考例句:
  • His sarcasm hurt her feelings.他的讽刺伤害了她的感情。
  • She was given to using bitter sarcasm.她惯于用尖酸刻薄语言挖苦人。
166 innocence ZbizC     
n.无罪;天真;无害
参考例句:
  • There was a touching air of innocence about the boy.这个男孩有一种令人感动的天真神情。
  • The accused man proved his innocence of the crime.被告人经证实无罪。
167 withdrawn eeczDJ     
vt.收回;使退出;vi.撤退,退出
参考例句:
  • Our force has been withdrawn from the danger area.我们的军队已从危险地区撤出。
  • All foreign troops should be withdrawn to their own countries.一切外国军队都应撤回本国去。
168 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。
169 wrestled c9ba15a0ecfd0f23f9150f9c8be3b994     
v.(与某人)搏斗( wrestle的过去式和过去分词 );扭成一团;扭打;(与…)摔跤
参考例句:
  • As a boy he had boxed and wrestled. 他小的时候又是打拳又是摔跤。
  • Armed guards wrestled with the intruder. 武装警卫和闯入者扭打起来。 来自《简明英汉词典》
170 ruffle oX9xW     
v.弄皱,弄乱;激怒,扰乱;n.褶裥饰边
参考例句:
  • Don't ruffle my hair.I've just combed it.别把我的头发弄乱了。我刚刚梳好了的。
  • You shouldn't ruffle so easily.你不该那么容易发脾气。
171 tilted 3gtzE5     
v. 倾斜的
参考例句:
  • Suddenly the boat tilted to one side. 小船突然倾向一侧。
  • She tilted her chin at him defiantly. 她向他翘起下巴表示挑衅。
172 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》
173 tilting f68c899ac9ba435686dcb0f12e2bbb17     
倾斜,倾卸
参考例句:
  • For some reason he thinks everyone is out to get him, but he's really just tilting at windmills. 不知为什么他觉得每个人都想害他,但其实他不过是在庸人自扰。
  • So let us stop bickering within our ranks.Stop tilting at windmills. 所以,让我们结束内部间的争吵吧!再也不要去做同风车作战的蠢事了。
174 winking b599b2f7a74d5974507152324c7b8979     
n.瞬眼,目语v.使眼色( wink的现在分词 );递眼色(表示友好或高兴等);(指光)闪烁;闪亮
参考例句:
  • Anyone can do it; it's as easy as winking. 这谁都办得到,简直易如反掌。 来自《现代汉英综合大词典》
  • The stars were winking in the clear sky. 星星在明亮的天空中闪烁。 来自《简明英汉词典》
175 mischief jDgxH     
n.损害,伤害,危害;恶作剧,捣蛋,胡闹
参考例句:
  • Nobody took notice of the mischief of the matter. 没有人注意到这件事情所带来的危害。
  • He seems to intend mischief.看来他想捣蛋。
176 giggled 72ecd6e6dbf913b285d28ec3ba1edb12     
v.咯咯地笑( giggle的过去式和过去分词 )
参考例句:
  • The girls giggled at the joke. 女孩子们让这笑话逗得咯咯笑。
  • The children giggled hysterically. 孩子们歇斯底里地傻笑。 来自《简明英汉词典》
177 puffing b3a737211571a681caa80669a39d25d3     
v.使喷出( puff的现在分词 );喷着汽(或烟)移动;吹嘘;吹捧
参考例句:
  • He was puffing hard when he jumped on to the bus. 他跳上公共汽车时喘息不已。 来自《现代汉英综合大词典》
  • My father sat puffing contentedly on his pipe. 父亲坐着心满意足地抽着烟斗。 来自《简明英汉词典》
178 charcoal prgzJ     
n.炭,木炭,生物炭
参考例句:
  • We need to get some more charcoal for the barbecue.我们烧烤需要更多的碳。
  • Charcoal is used to filter water.木炭是用来过滤水的。
179 amazement 7zlzBK     
n.惊奇,惊讶
参考例句:
  • All those around him looked at him with amazement.周围的人都对他投射出惊异的眼光。
  • He looked at me in blank amazement.他带着迷茫惊诧的神情望着我。
180 brazen Id1yY     
adj.厚脸皮的,无耻的,坚硬的
参考例句:
  • The brazen woman laughed loudly at the judge who sentenced her.那无耻的女子冲着给她判刑的法官高声大笑。
  • Some people prefer to brazen a thing out rather than admit defeat.有的人不愿承认失败,而是宁肯厚着脸皮干下去。
181 abrupt 2fdyh     
adj.突然的,意外的;唐突的,鲁莽的
参考例句:
  • The river takes an abrupt bend to the west.这河突然向西转弯。
  • His abrupt reply hurt our feelings.他粗鲁的回答伤了我们的感情。
182 demurely demurely     
adv.装成端庄地,认真地
参考例句:
  • "On the forehead, like a good brother,'she answered demurely. "吻前额,像个好哥哥那样,"她故作正经地回答说。 来自飘(部分)
  • Punctuation is the way one bats one's eyes, lowers one's voice or blushes demurely. 标点就像人眨眨眼睛,低声细语,或伍犯作态。 来自名作英译部分
183 sarcastic jCIzJ     
adj.讥讽的,讽刺的,嘲弄的
参考例句:
  • I squashed him with a sarcastic remark.我说了一句讽刺的话把他给镇住了。
  • She poked fun at people's shortcomings with sarcastic remarks.她冷嘲热讽地拿别人的缺点开玩笑。
184 insinuated fb2be88f6607d5f4855260a7ebafb1e3     
v.暗示( insinuate的过去式和过去分词 );巧妙或迂回地潜入;(使)缓慢进入;慢慢伸入
参考例句:
  • The article insinuated that he was having an affair with his friend's wife. 文章含沙射影地点出他和朋友的妻子有染。
  • She cleverly insinuated herself into his family. 她巧妙地混进了他的家庭。 来自《简明英汉词典》
185 kindly tpUzhQ     
adj.和蔼的,温和的,爽快的;adv.温和地,亲切地
参考例句:
  • Her neighbours spoke of her as kindly and hospitable.她的邻居都说她和蔼可亲、热情好客。
  • A shadow passed over the kindly face of the old woman.一道阴影掠过老太太慈祥的面孔。
186 repent 1CIyT     
v.悔悟,悔改,忏悔,后悔
参考例句:
  • He has nothing to repent of.他没有什么要懊悔的。
  • Remission of sins is promised to those who repent.悔罪者可得到赦免。
187 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。
188 desecrated 6d5f154117c696bbcc280c723c642778     
毁坏或亵渎( desecrate的过去式和过去分词 )
参考例句:
  • The invading army desecrated this holy place when they camped here. 侵略军在这块圣地上扎营就是对这块圣地的亵渎。
  • She shouldn't have desecrated the picture of a religious leader. 她不该亵渎宗教领袖的画像。
189 inadequate 2kzyk     
adj.(for,to)不充足的,不适当的
参考例句:
  • The supply is inadequate to meet the demand.供不应求。
  • She was inadequate to the demands that were made on her.她还无力满足对她提出的各项要求。
190 conjugated 659763e4a5c40fe3d34aea1555f278d8     
adj.共轭的,成对的v.列出(动词的)变化形式( conjugate的过去式和过去分词 );结合,联合,熔化
参考例句:
  • Hemoglobin can also be cross-linked to solublepolymers to form so-called conjugated hemoglobin. 血红蛋白也能交联到水溶性多聚体上,形成所谓的共轭血红蛋白。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • Similar delocalization is found in other conjugated systems. 在其他共轭体系中,也发现类似的离域。 来自辞典例句
191 tickled 2db1470d48948f1aa50b3cf234843b26     
(使)发痒( tickle的过去式和过去分词 ); (使)愉快,逗乐
参考例句:
  • We were tickled pink to see our friends on television. 在电视中看到我们的一些朋友,我们高兴极了。
  • I tickled the baby's feet and made her laugh. 我胳肢孩子的脚,使她发笑。
192 shuddering 7cc81262357e0332a505af2c19a03b06     
v.战栗( shudder的现在分词 );发抖;(机器、车辆等)突然震动;颤动
参考例句:
  • 'I am afraid of it,'she answered, shuddering. “我害怕,”她发着抖,说。 来自英汉文学 - 双城记
  • She drew a deep shuddering breath. 她不由得打了个寒噤,深深吸了口气。 来自飘(部分)
193 strands d184598ceee8e1af7dbf43b53087d58b     
n.(线、绳、金属线、毛发等的)股( strand的名词复数 );缕;海洋、湖或河的)岸;(观点、计划、故事等的)部份v.使滞留,使搁浅( strand的第三人称单数 )
参考例句:
  • Twist a length of rope from strands of hemp. 用几股麻搓成了一段绳子。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • She laced strands into a braid. 她把几股线编织成一根穗带。 来自《简明英汉词典》
194 tawny tIBzi     
adj.茶色的,黄褐色的;n.黄褐色
参考例句:
  • Her black hair springs in fine strands across her tawny,ruddy cheek.她的一头乌发分披在健康红润的脸颊旁。
  • None of them noticed a large,tawny owl flutter past the window.他们谁也没注意到一只大的、褐色的猫头鹰飞过了窗户。
195 entirely entirely     
ad.全部地,完整地;完全地,彻底地
参考例句:
  • The fire was entirely caused by their neglect of duty. 那场火灾完全是由于他们失职而引起的。
  • His life was entirely given up to the educational work. 他的一生统统献给了教育工作。
196 caressing 00dd0b56b758fda4fac8b5d136d391f3     
爱抚的,表现爱情的,亲切的
参考例句:
  • The spring wind is gentle and caressing. 春风和畅。
  • He sat silent still caressing Tartar, who slobbered with exceeding affection. 他不声不响地坐在那里,不断抚摸着鞑靼,它由于获得超常的爱抚而不淌口水。
197 brutal bSFyb     
adj.残忍的,野蛮的,不讲理的
参考例句:
  • She has to face the brutal reality.她不得不去面对冷酷的现实。
  • They're brutal people behind their civilised veneer.他们表面上温文有礼,骨子里却是野蛮残忍。
198 passionately YmDzQ4     
ad.热烈地,激烈地
参考例句:
  • She could hate as passionately as she could love. 她能恨得咬牙切齿,也能爱得一往情深。
  • He was passionately addicted to pop music. 他酷爱流行音乐。
199 trampling 7aa68e356548d4d30fa83dc97298265a     
踩( trample的现在分词 ); 践踏; 无视; 侵犯
参考例句:
  • Diplomats denounced the leaders for trampling their citizens' civil rights. 外交官谴责这些领导人践踏其公民的公民权。
  • They don't want people trampling the grass, pitching tents or building fires. 他们不希望人们踩踏草坪、支帐篷或生火。
200 tumult LKrzm     
n.喧哗;激动,混乱;吵闹
参考例句:
  • The tumult in the streets awakened everyone in the house.街上的喧哗吵醒了屋子里的每一个人。
  • His voice disappeared under growing tumult.他的声音消失在越来越响的喧哗声中。
201 behold jQKy9     
v.看,注视,看到
参考例句:
  • The industry of these little ants is wonderful to behold.这些小蚂蚁辛勤劳动的样子看上去真令人惊叹。
  • The sunrise at the seaside was quite a sight to behold.海滨日出真是个奇景。
202 solitary 7FUyx     
adj.孤独的,独立的,荒凉的;n.隐士
参考例句:
  • I am rather fond of a solitary stroll in the country.我颇喜欢在乡间独自徜徉。
  • The castle rises in solitary splendour on the fringe of the desert.这座城堡巍然耸立在沙漠的边际,显得十分壮美。
203 highland sdpxR     
n.(pl.)高地,山地
参考例句:
  • The highland game is part of Scotland's cultural heritage.苏格兰高地游戏是苏格兰文化遗产的一部分。
  • The highland forests where few hunters venture have long been the bear's sanctuary.这片只有少数猎人涉险的高山森林,一直都是黑熊的避难所。
204 nun THhxK     
n.修女,尼姑
参考例句:
  • I can't believe that the famous singer has become a nun.我无法相信那个著名的歌星已做了修女。
  • She shaved her head and became a nun.她削发为尼。
205 caresses 300460a787072f68f3ae582060ed388a     
爱抚,抚摸( caress的名词复数 )
参考例句:
  • A breeze caresses the cheeks. 微风拂面。
  • Hetty was not sufficiently familiar with caresses or outward demonstrations of fondness. 海蒂不习惯于拥抱之类过于外露地表现自己的感情。
206 curtly 4vMzJh     
adv.简短地
参考例句:
  • He nodded curtly and walked away. 他匆忙点了一下头就走了。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • The request was curtly refused. 这个请求被毫不客气地拒绝了。 来自《简明英汉词典》
207 glumly glumly     
adv.忧郁地,闷闷不乐地;阴郁地
参考例句:
  • He stared at it glumly, and soon became lost in thought. 他惘然沉入了瞑想。 来自子夜部分
  • The President sat glumly rubbing his upper molar, saying nothing. 总统愁眉苦脸地坐在那里,磨着他的上牙,一句话也没有说。 来自辞典例句
208 dilating 650b63aa5fe0e80f6e53759e79ee96ff     
v.(使某物)扩大,膨胀,张大( dilate的现在分词 )
参考例句:
  • Compliance is the dilating extent of elastic tissue below pressure. 顺应性是指外力作用下弹性组织的可扩张性。 来自互联网
  • For dilating the bearing life, bearing should keep lubricative well. 为延长轴承寿命,轴承应保持良好的润滑状态。 来自互联网
209 engrossed 3t0zmb     
adj.全神贯注的
参考例句:
  • The student is engrossed in his book.这名学生正在专心致志地看书。
  • No one had ever been quite so engrossed in an evening paper.没人会对一份晚报如此全神贯注。
210 distressed du1z3y     
痛苦的
参考例句:
  • He was too distressed and confused to answer their questions. 他非常苦恼而困惑,无法回答他们的问题。
  • The news of his death distressed us greatly. 他逝世的消息使我们极为悲痛。
211 upbraid jUNzP     
v.斥责,责骂,责备
参考例句:
  • The old man upbraided him with ingratitude.那位老人斥责他忘恩负义。
  • His wife set about upbraiding him for neglecting the children.他妻子开始指责他不照顾孩子。
212 averted 35a87fab0bbc43636fcac41969ed458a     
防止,避免( avert的过去式和过去分词 ); 转移
参考例句:
  • A disaster was narrowly averted. 及时防止了一场灾难。
  • Thanks to her skilful handling of the affair, the problem was averted. 多亏她对事情处理得巧妙,才避免了麻烦。
213 rhythmic rXexv     
adj.有节奏的,有韵律的
参考例句:
  • Her breathing became more rhythmic.她的呼吸变得更有规律了。
  • Good breathing is slow,rhythmic and deep.健康的呼吸方式缓慢深沉而有节奏。
214 defiantly defiantly     
adv.挑战地,大胆对抗地
参考例句:
  • Braving snow and frost, the plum trees blossomed defiantly. 红梅傲雪凌霜开。 来自《现代汉英综合大词典》
  • She tilted her chin at him defiantly. 她向他翘起下巴表示挑衅。 来自《简明英汉词典》
215 decorative bxtxc     
adj.装饰的,可作装饰的
参考例句:
  • This ware is suitable for decorative purpose but unsuitable for utility.这种器皿中看不中用。
  • The style is ornate and highly decorative.这种风格很华丽,而且装饰效果很好。
216 instinctively 2qezD2     
adv.本能地
参考例句:
  • As he leaned towards her she instinctively recoiled. 他向她靠近,她本能地往后缩。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • He knew instinctively where he would find her. 他本能地知道在哪儿能找到她。 来自《简明英汉词典》
217 supreme PHqzc     
adj.极度的,最重要的;至高的,最高的
参考例句:
  • It was the supreme moment in his life.那是他一生中最重要的时刻。
  • He handed up the indictment to the supreme court.他把起诉书送交最高法院。
218 writhed 7985cffe92f87216940f2d01877abcf6     
(因极度痛苦而)扭动或翻滚( writhe的过去式和过去分词 )
参考例句:
  • He writhed at the memory, revolted with himself for that temporary weakness. 他一想起来就痛悔不已,只恨自己当一时糊涂。
  • The insect, writhed, and lay prostrate again. 昆虫折腾了几下,重又直挺挺地倒了下去。
219 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。
220 fervent SlByg     
adj.热的,热烈的,热情的
参考例句:
  • It was a debate which aroused fervent ethical arguments.那是一场引发强烈的伦理道德争论的辩论。
  • Austria was among the most fervent supporters of adolf hitler.奥地利是阿道夫希特勒最狂热的支持者之一。
221 unevenly 9fZz51     
adv.不均匀的
参考例句:
  • Fuel resources are very unevenly distributed. 燃料资源分布很不均匀。
  • The cloth is dyed unevenly. 布染花了。
222 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。
223 swilled f12190c8a8964df251d66793d898af1e     
v.冲洗( swill的过去式和过去分词 );猛喝;大口喝;(使)液体流动
参考例句:
  • She swilled the glasses with clean water. 她用清水涮了杯子。
  • He just swilled down his beer and walked out. 他一口气把啤酒灌下肚,然后走了出去。 来自《简明英汉词典》
224 spurt 9r9yE     
v.喷出;突然进发;突然兴隆
参考例句:
  • He put in a spurt at the beginning of the eighth lap.他进入第八圈时便开始冲刺。
  • After a silence, Molly let her anger spurt out.沉默了一会儿,莫莉的怒气便迸发了出来。
225 clenching 1c3528c558c94eba89a6c21e9ee245e6     
v.紧握,抓紧,咬紧( clench的现在分词 )
参考例句:
  • I'll never get used to them, she thought, clenching her fists. 我永远也看不惯这些家伙,她握紧双拳,心里想。 来自飘(部分)
  • Clenching her lips, she nodded. 她紧闭着嘴唇,点点头。 来自辞典例句
226 smack XEqzV     
vt.拍,打,掴;咂嘴;vi.含有…意味;n.拍
参考例句:
  • She gave him a smack on the face.她打了他一个嘴巴。
  • I gave the fly a smack with the magazine.我用杂志拍了一下苍蝇。
227 hissed 2299e1729bbc7f56fc2559e409d6e8a7     
发嘶嘶声( hiss的过去式和过去分词 ); 发嘘声表示反对
参考例句:
  • Have you ever been hissed at in the middle of a speech? 你在演讲中有没有被嘘过?
  • The iron hissed as it pressed the wet cloth. 熨斗压在湿布上时发出了嘶嘶声。
228 swerved 9abd504bfde466e8c735698b5b8e73b4     
v.(使)改变方向,改变目的( swerve的过去式和过去分词 )
参考例句:
  • She swerved sharply to avoid a cyclist. 她猛地急转弯,以躲开一个骑自行车的人。
  • The driver has swerved on a sudden to avoid a file of geese. 为了躲避一队鹅,司机突然来个急转弯。 来自《简明英汉词典》
229 sip Oxawv     
v.小口地喝,抿,呷;n.一小口的量
参考例句:
  • She took a sip of the cocktail.她啜饮一口鸡尾酒。
  • Elizabeth took a sip of the hot coffee.伊丽莎白呷了一口热咖啡。
230 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。


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