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首页 » 经典英文小说 » Sentimental Tommy多愁善感的汤米 » CHAPTER XVII — IN WHICH TOMMY SOLVES THE WOMAN PROBLEM
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 Pity made Elspeth want to like the Painted Lady's child now, but her own rules of life were all from a book never opened by Grizel, who made her religion for herself and thought God a swear; she also despised Elspeth for being so dependent on Tommy, and Elspeth knew it. The two great subjects being barred thus, it was not likely that either girl, despite some attempts on Elspeth's part, should find out the best that was in the other, without which friendship has no meaning, and they would have gone different ways had not Tommy given an arm to each. He, indeed, had as little in common with Grizel, for most conspicuous2 of his traits was the faculty3 of stepping into other people's shoes and remaining there until he became someone else; his individuality consisted in having none, while she could only be herself and was without tolerance4 for those who were different; he had at no time in his life the least desire to make other persons like himself, but if they were not like Grizel she rocked her arms and cried, "Why, why, why?" which is the mark of the "womanly" woman. But his tendency to be anyone he was interested in implied enormous sympathy (for the time being), and though Grizel spurned5 his overtures6, this only fired his pride of conquest. We can all get whatever we want if we are quite determined7 to have it (though it be a king's daughter), and in the end Tommy vanquished8 Grizel. How? By offering to let her come into Aaron's house and wash it and dust it and ca'm it, "just as if you were our mother," an invitation she could not resist. To you this may seem an easy way, but consider the penetration9 he showed in thinking of it. It came to him one day when he saw her lift the smith's baby out of the gutter10, and hug it with a passionate11 delight in babies.
"She's so awid to do it," he said basely to Elspeth, "that we needna let on how much we want it done." And he also mentioned her eagerness to Aaron as a reason why she should be allowed to do it for nothing.
For Aaron to hold out against her admittance would have been to defraud12 himself, for she transformed his house. When she saw the brass13 lining14 of the jelly-pan discolored, and that the stockings hanging from the string beneath the mantelpiece had given way where the wearers were hardest on them; when she found dripping adhering to a cold frying-pan instead of in a "pig," and the pitcher15 leaking and the carrot-grater stopped—when these and similar discoveries were made by Grizel, was it a squeal16 of horror she gave that such things should be, or a cry of rapture17 because to her had fallen the task of setting them right?
"She just made a jump for the besom," was Tommy's graphic18 description of how it all began.
You should have seen Grizel on the hoddy-table knocking nails into the wall. The hoddy-table is so called because it goes beneath the larger one at night, like a chicken under its mother, and Grizel, with the nails in her mouth, used them up so quickly that you would have sworn she swallowed half of them; yet she rocked her arms because she could not be at all four walls at once. She rushed about the room until she was dizzy, and Tommy knew the moment to cry "Grip her, she'll tumble!" when he and Elspeth seized her and put her on a stool.
It is on the hoddy-table that you bake and iron. "There's not a baking-board in the house," Elspeth explained. "There is!" cried Grizel, there and then converting a drawer into one.
Between her big bannocks she made baby ones, for no better reason than that she was so fond of babies, and she kissed the baby ones and said, "Oh, the loves, they are just sweet!" and she felt for them when Tommy took a bite. She could go so quickly between the board and the girdle that she was always at one end of the course or the other, but never gave you time to say at which end, and on the limited space round the fire she could balance such a number of bannocks that they were as much a wonder as the Lord's prayer written on a sixpence. Such a vigilant20 eye she kept on them, too, that they dared not fall. Yet she had never been taught to bake; a good-natured neighbor had now and again allowed her to look on.
Then her ironing! Even Aaron opened his mouth on this subject, Blinder being his confidant. "I thought there was a smell o' burning," he said, "and so I went butt21 the house; but man, as soon as my een lighted on her I minded of my mother at the same job. The crittur was so busy with her work that she looked as if, though the last trumpet22 had blawn, she would just have cried, 'I canna come till my ironing's done!' Ay, I went ben without a word."
But best of all was to see Grizel "redding up" on a Saturday afternoon. Where were Tommy and Elspeth then? They were shut up in the coffin-bed to be out of the way, and could scarce have told whether they fled thither23 or were wrapped into it by her energetic arms. Even Aaron dared not cross the floor until it was sanded. "I believe," he said, trying to jest, "you would like to shut me up in the bed too!" "I should just love it," she cried, eagerly; "will you go?" It is an inferior woman who has a sense of humor when there is a besom in her hand.
Thus began great days to Grizel, "sweet" she called them, for she had many of her mother's words, and a pretty way of emphasizing them with her plain face that turned them all into superlatives. But though Tommy and Elspeth were her friends now, her mouth shut obstinately24 the moment they mentioned the Painted Lady; she regretted ever having given Tommy her confidence on that subject, and was determined not to do so again. He did not dare tell her that he had once been at the east window of her home, but often he and Elspeth spoke25 to each other of that adventure, and sometimes they woke in their garret bed thinking they heard the horseman galloping26 by. Then they crept closer to each other, and wondered whether Grizel was cosey in her bed or stalking an eerie27 figure in the Den1.
Aaron said little, but he was drawn28 to the girl, who had not the self-consciousness of Tommy and Elspeth in his presence, and sometimes he slipped a penny into her hand. The pennies were not spent, they were hoarded29 for the fair, or Muckle Friday, or Muckley, great day of the year in Thrums. If you would know how Tommy was making ready for this mighty30 festival, listen.
One of his sources of income was the Mentor31, a famous London weekly paper, which seemed to visitors to be taken in by every person of position in Thrums. It was to be seen not only in parlors32, but on the armchair at the Jute Bank, in the gauger's gig, in the Spittal factor's dog-cart, on a shoemaker's form, protruding33 from Dr. McQueen's tail pocket and from Mr. Duthie's oxter pocket, on Cathro's school-desk, in the Rev34. Mr. Dishart's study, in half a dozen farms. Miss Ailie compelled her little servant, Gavinia, to read the Mentor, and stood over her while she did it; the phrase, "this week's," meant this week's Mentor. Yet the secret must be told: only one copy of the paper came to Thrums weekly; it was subscribed35 for by the whole reading public between them, and by Miss Ailie's influence Tommy had become the boy who carried it from house to house.
This brought him a penny a week, but so heavy were his incidental expenses that he could have saved little for the Muckley had not another organization given him a better chance. It was a society, newly started, for helping37 the deserving poor; they had to subscribe36 not less than a penny weekly to it, and at the end of the year each subscriber38 was to be given fuel, etc., to the value of double what he or she had put in. "The three Ps" was a nickname given to the society by Dr. McQueen, because it claimed to distribute "Peats and Potatoes with Propriety," but he was one of its heartiest39 supporters nevertheless. The history of this society in the first months of its existence not only shows how Tommy became a moneyed man, but gives a glimpse into the character of those it benefited.
Miss Ailie was treasurer40, and the pennies were to be brought to her on Monday evenings between the hours of seven and eight. The first Monday evening found her ready in the school-room, in her hand the famous pencil that wrote red with the one end and blue with the other; by her side her assistant, Mr. T. Sandys, a pen balanced on his ear. For a whole hour did they wait, but though many of the worthiest41 poor had been enrolled42 as members, the few who appeared with their pennies were notoriously riff-raff. At eight Miss Ailie disconsolately43 sent Tommy home, but he was back in five minutes.
"There's a mask of them," he told her, excitedly, "hanging about, but feared to come in because the others would see them. They're ashamed to have it kent that they belong to a charity society, and Meggy Robbie is wandering round the Dovecot wi' her penny wrapped in a paper, and Watty Rattray and Ronny-On is walking up and down the brae pretending they dinna ken19 one another, and auld44 Connacher's Jeanie Ann says she has been four times round the town waiting for Kitty Elshioner to go away, and there's a one-leggit man hodding in the ditch, and Tibbie Birse is out wi' a lantern counting them."
Miss Ailie did not know what to do. "Here's Jeanie Ann's penny," Tommy continued, opening his hand, "and this is three bawbees frae Kitty Elshioner and you and me is no to tell a soul they've joined."
A furtive45 tapping was heard at the door. It was Ronny-On, who had skulked46 forward with twopence, but Gavinia answered his knock, so he just said, "Ay, Gavinia, it's yoursel'. Well, I'll be stepping," and would have retired47 had not Miss Ailie caught him. Even then he said, "Three bawbees is to you to lay by, and one bawbee to Gavinia no to tell."
To next Monday evening Miss Ailie now looked with apprehension48, but Tommy lay awake that night until, to use a favorite crow of his, he "found a way." He borrowed the school-mistress's blue-and-red pencil and sought the houses of the sensitive poor with the following effect. One sample will suffice; take him at the door of Meggy Robbie in the West Muir, which he flung open with the effrontery49 of a tax-collector.
"You're a three P," he said, with a wave of his pencil.
"I'm no sic thing!" cried the old lady.
"It winna do, woman," Tommy said sternly. "Miss Ailie telled me you paid in your first penny on the chap of ten." He wetted the pencil on his tongue to show that it was vain to trifle with him, and Meggy bowed her head.
"It'll be through the town that I've joined," she moaned, but Tommy explained that he was there to save her.
"I'm willing to come to your house," he said, "and collect the money every week, and not a soul will I tell except the committee."
"Kitty Elshioner would see you coming," said Meggy.
"No, no, I'll creep yont the hedge and climb the hen-house."
"But it would be a' found out at any rate," she remembered, "when I go for the peats and things at Hogmanay."
"It needna be," eagerly replied Tommy. "I'll bring them to you in a barrow in the dead o' night."
"Could you?" she cried passionately50, and he promised he would, and it may be mentioned here that he did.
"And what for yoursel'?" she inquired.
"A bawbee," he said, "the night afore the Muckley."
The bargain was made, but before he could get away, "Tell me, laddie," said Meggy, coaxingly51, "has Kitty Elshioner joined?" They were all as curious to know who had joined as they were anxious to keep their own membership a secret; but Tommy betrayed none, at least none who agreed to his proposal. There were so many of these that on the night before the Muckley he had thirteen pence.
"And you was doing good all the time you was making the thirteen pence," Elspeth said, fondly. "I believe that was the reason you did it."
"I believe it was!" Tommy exclaimed. He had not thought of this before, but it was easy to him to believe anything.


1 den 5w9xk     
  • There is a big fox den on the back hill.后山有一个很大的狐狸窝。
  • The only way to catch tiger cubs is to go into tiger's den.不入虎穴焉得虎子。
2 conspicuous spszE     
  • It is conspicuous that smoking is harmful to health.很明显,抽烟对健康有害。
  • Its colouring makes it highly conspicuous.它的色彩使它非常惹人注目。
3 faculty HhkzK     
  • He has a great faculty for learning foreign languages.他有学习外语的天赋。
  • He has the faculty of saying the right thing at the right time.他有在恰当的时候说恰当的话的才智。
4 tolerance Lnswz     
  • Tolerance is one of his strengths.宽容是他的一个优点。
  • Human beings have limited tolerance of noise.人类对噪音的忍耐力有限。
5 spurned 69f2c0020b1502287bd3ff9d92c996f0     
v.一脚踢开,拒绝接受( spurn的过去式和过去分词 )
  • Eve spurned Mark's invitation. 伊夫一口回绝了马克的邀请。
  • With Mrs. Reed, I remember my best was always spurned with scorn. 对里德太太呢,我记得我的最大努力总是遭到唾弃。 来自辞典例句
6 overtures 0ed0d32776ccf6fae49696706f6020ad     
n.主动的表示,提议;(向某人做出的)友好表示、姿态或提议( overture的名词复数 );(歌剧、芭蕾舞、音乐剧等的)序曲,前奏曲
  • Their government is making overtures for peace. 他们的政府正在提出和平建议。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • He had lately begun to make clumsy yet endearing overtures of friendship. 最近他开始主动表示友好,样子笨拙却又招人喜爱。 来自辞典例句
7 determined duszmP     
  • 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。
8 vanquished 3ee1261b79910819d117f8022636243f     
v.征服( vanquish的过去式和过去分词 );战胜;克服;抑制
  • She had fought many battles, vanquished many foes. 她身经百战,挫败过很多对手。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • I vanquished her coldness with my assiduity. 我对她关心照顾从而消除了她的冷淡。 来自《现代英汉综合大词典》
9 penetration 1M8xw     
  • He is a man of penetration.他是一个富有洞察力的人。
  • Our aim is to achieve greater market penetration.我们的目标是进一步打入市场。
10 gutter lexxk     
  • There's a cigarette packet thrown into the gutter.阴沟里有个香烟盒。
  • He picked her out of the gutter and made her a great lady.他使她脱离贫苦生活,并成为贵妇。
11 passionate rLDxd     
  • 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。
12 defraud Em9zu     
  • He passed himself off as the managing director to defraud the bank.他假冒总经理的名义诈骗银行。
  • He is implicated in the scheme to defraud the government.他卷入了这起欺骗政府的阴谋。
13 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。
14 lining kpgzTO     
  • The lining of my coat is torn.我的外套衬里破了。
  • Moss makes an attractive lining to wire baskets.用苔藓垫在铁丝篮里很漂亮。
15 pitcher S2Gz7     
  • He poured the milk out of the pitcher.他从大罐中倒出牛奶。
  • Any pitcher is liable to crack during a tight game.任何投手在紧张的比赛中都可能会失常。
16 squeal 3Foyg     
  • The children gave a squeal of fright.孩子们发出惊吓的尖叫声。
  • There was a squeal of brakes as the car suddenly stopped.小汽车突然停下来时,车闸发出尖叫声。
17 rapture 9STzG     
  • His speech was received with rapture by his supporters.他的演说受到支持者们的热烈欢迎。
  • In the midst of his rapture,he was interrupted by his father.他正欢天喜地,被他父亲打断了。
18 graphic Aedz7     
  • The book gave a graphic description of the war.这本书生动地描述了战争的情况。
  • Distinguish important text items in lists with graphic icons.用图标来区分重要的文本项。
19 ken k3WxV     
  • Such things are beyond my ken.我可不懂这些事。
  • Abstract words are beyond the ken of children.抽象的言辞超出小孩所理解的范围.
20 vigilant ULez2     
  • He has to learn how to remain vigilant through these long nights.他得学会如何在这漫长的黑夜里保持警觉。
  • The dog kept a vigilant guard over the house.这只狗警醒地守护着这所房屋。
21 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。
22 trumpet AUczL     
  • He plays the violin, but I play the trumpet.他拉提琴,我吹喇叭。
  • The trumpet sounded for battle.战斗的号角吹响了。
23 thither cgRz1o     
  • He wandered hither and thither looking for a playmate.他逛来逛去找玩伴。
  • He tramped hither and thither.他到处流浪。
24 obstinately imVzvU     
  • He obstinately asserted that he had done the right thing. 他硬说他做得对。
  • Unemployment figures are remaining obstinately high. 失业数字仍然顽固地居高不下。
25 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
  • 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。
26 galloping galloping     
adj. 飞驰的, 急性的 动词gallop的现在分词形式
  • The horse started galloping the moment I gave it a good dig. 我猛戳了马一下,它就奔驰起来了。
  • Japan is galloping ahead in the race to develop new technology. 日本在发展新技术的竞争中进展迅速,日新月异。
27 eerie N8gy0     
  • It's eerie to walk through a dark wood at night.夜晚在漆黑的森林中行走很是恐怖。
  • I walked down the eerie dark path.我走在那条漆黑恐怖的小路上。
28 drawn MuXzIi     
  • 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。
29 hoarded fe2d6b65d7be4a89a7f38b012b9a0b1b     
v.积蓄并储藏(某物)( hoard的过去式和过去分词 )
  • It owned great properties and often hoarded huge treasures. 它拥有庞大的财产,同时往往窖藏巨额的财宝。 来自辞典例句
  • Sylvia among them, good-naturedly applaud so much long-hoarded treasure of useless knowing. 西尔维亚也在他们中间,为那些长期珍藏的无用知识,友好地、起劲地鼓掌。 来自互联网
30 mighty YDWxl     
  • 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。
31 mentor s78z0     
  • He fed on the great ideas of his mentor.他以他导师的伟大思想为支撑。
  • He had mentored scores of younger doctors.他指导过许多更年轻的医生。
32 parlors d00eff1cfa3fc47d2b58dbfdec2ddc5e     
客厅( parlor的名词复数 ); 起居室; (旅馆中的)休息室; (通常用来构成合成词)店
  • It had been a firm specializing in funeral parlors and parking lots. 它曾经是一个专门经营殡仪馆和停车场的公司。
  • I walked, my eyes focused into the endless succession of barbershops, beauty parlors, confectioneries. 我走着,眼睛注视着那看不到头的、鳞次栉比的理发店、美容院、糖果店。
33 protruding e7480908ef1e5355b3418870e3d0812f     
v.(使某物)伸出,(使某物)突出( protrude的现在分词 );凸
  • He hung his coat on a nail protruding from the wall. 他把上衣挂在凸出墙面的一根钉子上。
  • There is a protruding shelf over a fireplace. 壁炉上方有个突出的架子。 来自辞典例句
34 rev njvzwS     
  • It's his job to rev up the audience before the show starts.他要负责在表演开始前鼓动观众的热情。
  • Don't rev the engine so hard.别让发动机转得太快。
35 subscribed cb9825426eb2cb8cbaf6a72027f5508a     
v.捐助( subscribe的过去式和过去分词 );签署,题词;订阅;同意
  • It is not a theory that is commonly subscribed to. 一般人并不赞成这个理论。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • I subscribed my name to the document. 我在文件上签了字。 来自《简明英汉词典》
36 subscribe 6Hozu     
  • I heartily subscribe to that sentiment.我十分赞同那个观点。
  • The magazine is trying to get more readers to subscribe.该杂志正大力发展新订户。
37 helping 2rGzDc     
  • The poor children regularly pony up for a second helping of my hamburger. 那些可怜的孩子们总是要求我把我的汉堡包再给他们一份。
  • By doing this, they may at times be helping to restore competition. 这样一来, 他在某些时候,有助于竞争的加强。
38 subscriber 9hNzJK     
  • The subscriber to a government loan has got higher interest than savings. 公债认购者获得高于储蓄的利息。 来自辞典例句
  • Who is the subscriber of that motto? 谁是那条座右铭的签字者? 来自辞典例句
39 heartiest 2142d8f6bac2103bc5ff4945485f9dab     
亲切的( hearty的最高级 ); 热诚的; 健壮的; 精神饱满的
  • He was then the heartiest and sturdiest boy in the world. 他那时是世界上最诚恳、最坚强的孩子。
  • We parted with them in the heartiest manner. 我们和他们在最热烈的气氛下分别了。
40 treasurer VmHwm     
  • Mr. Smith was succeeded by Mrs.Jones as treasurer.琼斯夫人继史密斯先生任会计。
  • The treasurer was arrested for trying to manipulate the company's financial records.财务主管由于试图窜改公司财政帐目而被拘留。
41 worthiest eb81c9cd307d9624f7205dafb9cff65d     
应得某事物( worthy的最高级 ); 值得做某事; 可尊敬的; 有(某人或事物)的典型特征
  • We assure you that we are your worthiest business partner within tremendously changeable and competitive environment. 在当今激烈变化的竞争环境中,我们将是您值得信赖的成长伙伴。
  • And with those hands, that grasp'd the heaviest club, Subdue my worthiest self. 让我用这一双曾经握过最沉重的武器的手,征服我最英雄的自己。
42 enrolled ff7af27948b380bff5d583359796d3c8     
adj.入学登记了的v.[亦作enrol]( enroll的过去式和过去分词 );登记,招收,使入伍(或入会、入学等),参加,成为成员;记入名册;卷起,包起
  • They have been studying hard from the moment they enrolled. 从入学时起,他们就一直努力学习。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • He enrolled with an employment agency for a teaching position. 他在职业介绍所登了记以谋求一个教师的职位。 来自《简明英汉词典》
43 disconsolately f041141d86c7fb7a4a4b4c23954d68d8     
  • A dilapidated house stands disconsolately amid the rubbles. 一栋破旧的房子凄凉地耸立在断垣残壁中。 来自辞典例句
  • \"I suppose you have to have some friends before you can get in,'she added, disconsolately. “我看得先有些朋友才能进这一行,\"她闷闷不乐地加了一句。 来自英汉文学 - 嘉莉妹妹
44 auld Fuxzt     
  • Should auld acquaintance be forgot,and never brought to mind?怎能忘记旧日朋友,心中能不怀念?
  • The party ended up with the singing of Auld Lang Sync.宴会以《友谊地久天长》的歌声而告终。
45 furtive kz9yJ     
  • The teacher was suspicious of the student's furtive behaviour during the exam.老师怀疑这个学生在考试时有偷偷摸摸的行为。
  • His furtive behaviour aroused our suspicion.他鬼鬼祟祟的行为引起了我们的怀疑。
46 skulked e141a7947687027923a59bfad6fb5a6e     
v.潜伏,偷偷摸摸地走动,鬼鬼祟祟地活动( skulk的过去式和过去分词 )
  • Sir Francis Clavering made his appearance, and skulked for a while about the magnificent rooms. 弗朗西斯·克拉弗林爵士也出席了,他在那些金碧辉煌的屋子里遛了一会。 来自辞典例句
  • He skulked around outside until the police had gone. 他窥探着四周,直至见到警察走开。 来自互联网
47 retired Njhzyv     
  • The old man retired to the country for rest.这位老人下乡休息去了。
  • Many retired people take up gardening as a hobby.许多退休的人都以从事园艺为嗜好。
48 apprehension bNayw     
  • There were still areas of doubt and her apprehension grew.有些地方仍然存疑,于是她越来越担心。
  • She is a girl of weak apprehension.她是一个理解力很差的女孩。
49 effrontery F8xyC     
  • This is a despicable fraud . Just imagine that he has the effrontery to say it.这是一个可耻的骗局. 他竟然有脸说这样的话。
  • One could only gasp at the sheer effrontery of the man.那人十足的厚颜无耻让人们吃惊得无话可说。
50 passionately YmDzQ4     
  • 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。
51 coaxingly 2424e5a5134f6694a518ab5be2fcb7d5     
adv. 以巧言诱哄,以甘言哄骗


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