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Chapter One 1
Chapter One
From where he lay quietly on the brick-and-tamped-earth sleeping platform, his kang, PastorMalory saw a bright red beam of light shining down on the Virgin2 Mary’s pink breast and onthe pudgy face of the bare-bottomed Blessed Infant in her arms. Water from last summer’srains had left yellow stains on the oil tableau3, investing the Virgin Mary and Blessed Infantwith a vacant look. A long-legged spider hung from a silvery thread in the bright window,swaying in a light breeze. “Morning spiders bring happiness, evening spiders promisewealth.” That’s what the pale yet beautiful woman had said one day when she saw one of theeight-legged creatures. But what happiness am I entitled to? All those heavenly breasts andbuttocks in his dream flashed through his head. He heard the rumble5 of carts outside and thecries of red-crowned cranes from the distant marsh6, plus the angry bleats7 of his milk goat.
Sparrows banged noisily into the paper window covering. Magpies8, the so-called happinessbirds, chattered9 in poplar trees outside. By the look of things, happiness could well be in theair today. Then suddenly his head cleared, and the beautiful woman with the astonishingly bigbelly made a violent appearance, haloed in blinding light. Her nervous lips quivered, as if shewere about to say something. She was in her eleventh month, so today must be the day. In aflash Pastor1 Malory understood the significance of the spider and magpies. He sat up and gotdown off the kang.
After picking up a black earthenware10 jug11, he walked out to the street behind the church,where he saw Shangguan Lü, wife of Shangguan Fulu, the blacksmith, bent12 over to sweep thestreet in front of the shop. His heart skipped a beat, his lips quivered. “Dear Lord,” hemuttered, “almighty God …” He crossed himself with a stiff finger and backed slowly into acorner to silently observe the tall, heavyset Shangguan Lü?as she silently and single-mindedlyswept the dew-soaked dust into her dustpan, carefully picking out pieces of trash and tossingthem aside. Her movements were clumsy but vigorous; her broom, woven from golden millettassels, was like a toy in her hand. After filling the dustpan and tamping13 down the dust, shestraightened up.
Just as Shangguan Lü reached the head of her lane, she heard a commotion14 behind her andturned to see what it was. Some women came running through the black gate of FelicityManor, home of the town’s leading gentry16 family. They were dressed in rags, their facessmeared with soot17. Why are these women, who normally dress in silks and satins, and arenever seen without rouge18 and lipstick19, dressed like that? Just then, a wagon20 master known toall as “Old Titmouse” emerged from the compound across the way on his new wagon, with itsdark green canopy21 and rubber tires. The women clambered aboard even before it came to acomplete stop. The wagon master jumped down and sat on one of the still damp stone lions tosilently smoke his pipe. Sima Ting, steward22 of Felicity Manor15, strode out from the compoundwith his fowling23 piece, his movements as quick and nimble as a young man. Jumping to hisfeet, the wagon master glanced at the steward, who snatched the pipe out of his hand, tookseveral noisy puffs24, then looked up at the early-morning rosy25 sky and yawned grandly. “Timeto go,” he said. “Wait for me at the Black Water River Bridge. I’ll be along shortly.”
With the reins26 in one hand and his whip in the other, the wagon master turned the wagonaround. The women in the bed behind him shouted and chattered. The whip snapped in theair, and the horses trotted27 off. Brass28 bells around the horses’ necks sang out crisply, the wagonwheels crunched29 on the dirt road, and clouds of dust rose in the wagon’s wake.
After taking a piss in the middle of the road, Sima Ting shouted out at the now distantwagon, then cradled his fowling piece and climbed the watchtower, a thirty-foot platformsupported by ninety-nine thick logs and topped by a red flag that hung limply in the dampmorning air. Shangguan Lü watched him as he gazed off to the northwest. With his long neckand pointy mouth, he looked a little like a goose at a watering trough.
A cloud of feathery mist rolled through the sky and swallowed up Sima Ting, then spat30 himback out. Bloody31 hues32 of sunrise dyed his face red. To Shangguan Lü, the face seemedcovered by a dazzling layer of sticky syrup33. By the time he raised the fowling piece over hishead, his face was red as a cockscomb. She heard a faint metallic34 click. It was the triggersending the firing pin forward. Resting the butt4 of the piece against his shoulder, he stoodwaiting solemnly. So did Shangguan Lü, as the heavy dustpan numbed35 her hands, and herneck was sore from cocking it at such a rakish angle. Sima Ting lowered his fowling pieceand puckered36 like a pouting37 little boy. She heard him curse the gun: “You little bastard38, howdare you not fire!” He raised it again and pulled the trigger. Crack! Flames followed the crispsound out of the barrel, simultaneously39 darkening the sun’s rays and lighting40 up his red face.
Then an explosion shattered the silence hanging over the village; sunlight filled the sky withbrilliant colors as if a fairy standing41 on the tip of a cloud were showering the land below withradiant flower petals42. Shangguan Lü’s heart raced from excitement. Though only ablacksmith’s wife, she was much better with a hammer and anvil43 than her husband could everhope to be. The mere44 sight of steel and fire sent blood running hot through her veins45. Themuscles of her arms rippled46 like knotted horsewhips. Black steel striking against red, sparksflying, a sweat- soaked shirt, rivulets47 of salty water flowing down the valley betweenpendulous breasts, the biting smell of steel and blood filling the space between heaven andearth. She watched Sima Ting jerk backward on his perch48, the damp morning air around himsoaked with the smell of gunpowder49. As he circled the tiny platform, he broadcast a warningto all of Northeast Gaomi Township:
“All you elders, fellow townsmen, the Japs are coming!”


1 pastor h3Ozz     
  • He was the son of a poor pastor.他是一个穷牧师的儿子。
  • We have no pastor at present:the church is run by five deacons.我们目前没有牧师:教会的事是由五位执事管理的。
2 virgin phPwj     
  • Have you ever been to a virgin forest?你去过原始森林吗?
  • There are vast expanses of virgin land in the remote regions.在边远地区有大片大片未开垦的土地。
3 tableau nq0wi     
  • The movie was a tableau of a soldier's life.这部电影的画面生动地描绘了军人的生活。
  • History is nothing more than a tableau of crimes and misfortunes.历史不过是由罪恶和灾难构成的静止舞台造型罢了。
4 butt uSjyM     
  • The water butt catches the overflow from this pipe.大水桶盛接管子里流出的东西。
  • He was the butt of their jokes.他是他们的笑柄。
5 rumble PCXzd     
  • I hear the rumble of thunder in the distance.我听到远处雷声隆隆。
  • We could tell from the rumble of the thunder that rain was coming.我们根据雷的轰隆声可断定,天要下雨了。
6 marsh Y7Rzo     
  • There are a lot of frogs in the marsh.沼泽里有许多青蛙。
  • I made my way slowly out of the marsh.我缓慢地走出这片沼泽地。
7 bleats 16d5bf12792425561b8f317763c4594c     
v.(羊,小牛)叫( bleat的第三人称单数 );哭诉;发出羊叫似的声音;轻声诉说
  • Every time the sheep bleats it loses a mouthful. 羊每叫一次,就少吃一口。 来自互联网
  • There is a saying that every time the sheep bleats, it loses a mouthful of hay. 有句古谚曾说,绵羊每叫一声,它就会掉落一口干草。 来自互联网
8 magpies c4dd28bd67cb2da8dafd330afe2524c5     
  • They set forth chattering like magpies. 他们叽叽喳喳地出发了。
  • James: besides, we can take some pied magpies home, for BBQ. 此外,我们还可以打些喜鹊回家,用来烧烤。
9 chattered 0230d885b9f6d176177681b6eaf4b86f     
(人)喋喋不休( chatter的过去式 ); 唠叨; (牙齿)打战; (机器)震颤
  • They chattered away happily for a while. 他们高兴地闲扯了一会儿。
  • We chattered like two teenagers. 我们聊着天,像两个十多岁的孩子。
10 earthenware Lr5xL     
  • 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。
11 jug QaNzK     
  • He walked along with a jug poised on his head.他头上顶着一个水罐,保持着平衡往前走。
  • She filled the jug with fresh water.她将水壶注满了清水。
12 bent QQ8yD     
  • 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。
13 tamping 131f06f2a924a527154b32c25775eb46     
n.填塞物,捣紧v.捣固( tamp的现在分词 );填充;(用炮泥)封炮眼口;夯实
  • The foundation becomes solid after tamping. 打夯以后,地基就瓷实了。 来自《现代汉英综合大词典》
  • Practical construction shows that equal energy, equal deformation tamping a. 等能量、等变形夯扩挤密矸石桩是一种地基加固新技术。 来自互联网
14 commotion 3X3yo     
  • They made a commotion by yelling at each other in the theatre.他们在剧院里相互争吵,引起了一阵骚乱。
  • Suddenly the whole street was in commotion.突然间,整条街道变得一片混乱。
15 manor d2Gy4     
  • The builder of the manor house is a direct ancestor of the present owner.建造这幢庄园的人就是它现在主人的一个直系祖先。
  • I am not lord of the manor,but its lady.我并非此地的领主,而是这儿的女主人。
16 gentry Ygqxe     
  • Landed income was the true measure of the gentry.来自土地的收入是衡量是否士绅阶层的真正标准。
  • Better be the head of the yeomanry than the tail of the gentry.宁做自由民之首,不居贵族之末。
17 soot ehryH     
  • Soot is the product of the imperfect combustion of fuel.煤烟是燃料不完全燃烧的产物。
  • The chimney was choked with soot.烟囱被煤灰堵塞了。
18 rouge nX7xI     
  • Women put rouge on their cheeks to make their faces pretty.女人往面颊上涂胭脂,使脸更漂亮。
  • She didn't need any powder or lip rouge to make her pretty.她天生漂亮,不需要任何脂粉唇膏打扮自己。
19 lipstick o0zxg     
  • Taking out her lipstick,she began to paint her lips.她拿出口红,开始往嘴唇上抹。
  • Lipstick and hair conditioner are cosmetics.口红和护发素都是化妆品。
20 wagon XhUwP     
  • We have to fork the hay into the wagon.我们得把干草用叉子挑进马车里去。
  • The muddy road bemired the wagon.马车陷入了泥泞的道路。
21 canopy Rczya     
  • The trees formed a leafy canopy above their heads.树木在他们头顶上空形成了一个枝叶茂盛的遮篷。
  • They lay down under a canopy of stars.他们躺在繁星点点的天幕下。
22 steward uUtzw     
  • He's the steward of the club.他是这家俱乐部的管理员。
  • He went around the world as a ship's steward.他当客船服务员,到过世界各地。
23 fowling ea287abecfdc2eceea463848b43ce417     
  • For that they design'd some sport of fowling as well as fishing. 看来,他们除了想捕鱼外,还打算打鸟。 来自英汉 - 翻译样例 - 文学
  • While underneath, in a corner, were fowling piece, musket, and matchlock. 下面,角落里,堆着鸟枪,步枪,和火绳枪。
24 puffs cb3699ccb6e175dfc305ea6255d392d6     
n.吸( puff的名词复数 );(烟斗或香烟的)一吸;一缕(烟、蒸汽等);(呼吸或风的)呼v.使喷出( puff的第三人称单数 );喷着汽(或烟)移动;吹嘘;吹捧
  • We sat exchanging puffs from that wild pipe of his. 我们坐在那里,轮番抽着他那支野里野气的烟斗。 来自辞典例句
  • Puffs of steam and smoke came from the engine. 一股股蒸汽和烟雾从那火车头里冒出来。 来自辞典例句
25 rosy kDAy9     
  • 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。
26 reins 370afc7786679703b82ccfca58610c98     
感情,激情; 缰( rein的名词复数 ); 控制手段; 掌管; (成人带着幼儿走路以防其走失时用的)保护带
  • She pulled gently on the reins. 她轻轻地拉着缰绳。
  • The government has imposed strict reins on the import of luxury goods. 政府对奢侈品的进口有严格的控制手段。
27 trotted 6df8e0ef20c10ef975433b4a0456e6e1     
小跑,急走( trot的过去分词 ); 匆匆忙忙地走
  • She trotted her pony around the field. 她骑着小马绕场慢跑。
  • Anne trotted obediently beside her mother. 安妮听话地跟在妈妈身边走。
28 brass DWbzI     
  • Many of the workers play in the factory's brass band.许多工人都在工厂铜管乐队中演奏。
  • Brass is formed by the fusion of copper and zinc.黄铜是通过铜和锌的熔合而成的。
29 crunched adc2876f632a087c0c8d7d68ab7543dc     
v.嘎吱嘎吱地咬嚼( crunch的过去式和过去分词 );嘎吱作响;(快速大量地)处理信息;数字捣弄
  • Our feet crunched on the frozen snow. 我们的脚嘎吱嘎吱地踩在冻雪上。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • He closed his jaws on the bones and crunched. 他咬紧骨头,使劲地嚼。 来自英汉文学 - 热爱生命
30 spat pFdzJ     
  • Her parents always have spats.她的父母经常有些小的口角。
  • There is only a spat between the brother and sister.那只是兄妹间的小吵小闹。
31 bloody kWHza     
  • He got a bloody nose in the fight.他在打斗中被打得鼻子流血。
  • He is a bloody fool.他是一个十足的笨蛋。
32 hues adb36550095392fec301ed06c82f8920     
色彩( hue的名词复数 ); 色调; 信仰; 观点
  • When the sun rose a hundred prismatic hues were reflected from it. 太阳一出,更把它映得千变万化、异彩缤纷。
  • Where maple trees grow, the leaves are often several brilliant hues of red. 在枫树生长的地方,枫叶常常呈现出数种光彩夺目的红色。
33 syrup hguzup     
  • I skimmed the foam from the boiling syrup.我撇去了煮沸糖浆上的泡沫。
  • Tinned fruit usually has a lot of syrup with it.罐头水果通常都有许多糖浆。
34 metallic LCuxO     
  • A sharp metallic note coming from the outside frightened me.外面传来尖锐铿锵的声音吓了我一跳。
  • He picked up a metallic ring last night.昨夜他捡了一个金属戒指。
35 numbed f49681fad452b31c559c5f54ee8220f4     
v.使麻木,使麻痹( numb的过去式和过去分词 )
  • His mind has been numbed. 他已麻木不仁。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • He was numbed with grief. 他因悲伤而昏迷了。 来自《现代英汉综合大词典》
36 puckered 919dc557997e8559eff50805cb11f46e     
v.(使某物)起褶子或皱纹( pucker的过去式和过去分词 )
  • His face puckered , and he was ready to cry. 他的脸一皱,像要哭了。
  • His face puckered, the tears leapt from his eyes. 他皱着脸,眼泪夺眶而出。 来自《简明英汉词典》
37 pouting f5e25f4f5cb47eec0e279bd7732e444b     
v.撅(嘴)( pout的现在分词 )
  • The child sat there pouting. 那孩子坐在那儿,一副不高兴的样子。 来自辞典例句
  • She was almost pouting at his hesitation. 她几乎要为他这种犹犹豫豫的态度不高兴了。 来自辞典例句
38 bastard MuSzK     
  • He was never concerned about being born a bastard.他从不介意自己是私生子。
  • There was supposed to be no way to get at the bastard.据说没有办法买通那个混蛋。
39 simultaneously 4iBz1o     
  • The radar beam can track a number of targets almost simultaneously.雷达波几乎可以同时追着多个目标。
  • The Windows allow a computer user to execute multiple programs simultaneously.Windows允许计算机用户同时运行多个程序。
40 lighting CpszPL     
  • The gas lamp gradually lost ground to electric lighting.煤气灯逐渐为电灯所代替。
  • The lighting in that restaurant is soft and romantic.那个餐馆照明柔和而且浪漫。
41 standing 2hCzgo     
  • After the earthquake only a few houses were left standing.地震过后只有几幢房屋还立着。
  • They're standing out against any change in the law.他们坚决反对对法律做任何修改。
42 petals f346ae24f5b5778ae3e2317a33cd8d9b     
n.花瓣( petal的名词复数 )
  • white petals tinged with blue 略带蓝色的白花瓣
  • The petals of many flowers expand in the sunshine. 许多花瓣在阳光下开放。 来自《现代英汉综合大词典》
43 anvil HVxzH     
  • The blacksmith shaped a horseshoe on his anvil.铁匠在他的铁砧上打出一个马蹄形。
  • The anvil onto which the staples are pressed was not assemble correctly.订书机上的铁砧安装错位。
44 mere rC1xE     
  • That is a mere repetition of what you said before.那不过是重复了你以前讲的话。
  • It's a mere waste of time waiting any longer.再等下去纯粹是浪费时间。
45 veins 65827206226d9e2d78ea2bfe697c6329     
n.纹理;矿脉( vein的名词复数 );静脉;叶脉;纹理
  • The blood flows from the capillaries back into the veins. 血从毛细血管流回静脉。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • I felt a pleasant glow in all my veins from the wine. 喝过酒后我浑身的血都热烘烘的,感到很舒服。 来自《简明英汉词典》
46 rippled 70d8043cc816594c4563aec11217f70d     
  • The lake rippled gently. 湖面轻轻地泛起涟漪。
  • The wind rippled the surface of the cornfield. 微风吹过麦田,泛起一片麦浪。
47 rivulets 1eb2174ca2fcfaaac7856549ef7f3c58     
n.小河,小溪( rivulet的名词复数 )
  • Rivulets of water ran in through the leaks. 小股的水流通过漏洞流进来。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • Rivulets of sweat streamed down his cheeks. 津津汗水顺着他的两颊流下。 来自辞典例句
48 perch 5u1yp     
  • The bird took its perch.鸟停歇在栖木上。
  • Little birds perch themselves on the branches.小鸟儿栖歇在树枝上。
49 gunpowder oerxm     
  • Gunpowder was introduced into Europe during the first half of the 14th century.在14世纪上半叶,火药传入欧洲。
  • This statement has a strong smell of gunpowder.这是一篇充满火药味的声明。


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