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首页 » 经典英文小说 » The Adventures of Joel Pepper27章节 » XV OLD MAN PETERS' CENT
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 Joel was walking along the road very slowly, swinging on his arm the tin pail that was to bring home the molasses. "I wish some one would come along who'd give me a ride," he thought, feeling hot, and wishing he were home, to lie on the cool grass in the orchard1, after he had first drunk all he wanted to at the well.
"I could drink the whole bucketful," he declared. "My, ain't I thirsty! Oh, goody, I hear a wagon2!" and he hopped3 to one side of the road. "Ugh--it's old man Peters!"
Mr. Peters slackened up as he passed Joel, but he didn't offer to let him ride. And Joel didn't want to, anyway. After a grumpy look at the Pepper boy, the old man in the wagon put the well-worn leather reins4 between his knees and took out a battered5 pocket-book, scowling6 above its contents as he went over a business transaction just completed at Badgertown. Then he slapped it together and stuck it into his pocket, and seizing the reins, he doubled them up, cutting the horse across the thin flanks.
"Gee-lang, there--will you!" cried old man Peters, shrilly7, "or I'll make ye!"
Joel stepped back into the middle of the road, and began to trudge8 along in the wake of the wagon. Suddenly he stopped, and stared at something shining in the road. It was little and round, but it sent up a bright gleam that found an answering one in Joel's black eyes.
"Oh, I've found a whole cent!" he exclaimed joyfully9. Then his heart stood quite still. It must belong to old man Peters.
"I don't care," said Joel, defiantly11, to himself, "he left it in the road. It's mine, now, for I picked it up." And he clutched it tightly in his warm little palm, and dug his heels into the hot sand, glad enough he had had to go to the store after that molasses, for otherwise he wouldn't have found that cent.
"It doesn't belong to you." It seemed as if Mamsie was walking there beside him, and had said the words, and involuntarily Joel glanced on either side. "I don't know as he dropped it," he said to himself, walking very fast, and trying to shake off the unwelcome thoughts; "I didn't see him."
"But you did see him take his pocket-book out, and you ought to hurry after him and give it back," and Joel started on a lively run, without giving himself a chance to think twice.
"Mr. Peters! Mr. Peters!" he cried, running along, and screaming after the retreating wagon.
Mr. Peters looked back and shook his whip at him. "I ain't a-goin' to give you a ride," he said, "an' you needn't think you can catch on behind." So he gave the horse another cut, that made him amble12 along at his best speed.
Joel chased as long as he was able to, the perspiration13 streaming from his red face, screaming when he could find breath, "Stop, Mr. Peters, a minute," till Mr. Peters shook his fist at him as well as his whip. At last Joel dropped from sheer exhaustion14 on the roadside grass.
"That Pepper boy--th' one they call Joel--is a perfect nuisance," snarled15 Mr. Peters, after putting his horse up in the barn, and going into the house. "I passed him on the road, and he looked as if he 'xpected me to give him a lift."
"Oh, Pa, why didn't you?" said Mrs. Peters, pityingly, "they have such a hard time, those little Pepperses. I s'pose he was dreadful tired."
"S'pose he was," said Mr. Peters, going into the keeping room to sit down over the weekly paper. "I warn't a-goin' to take him up; and then the imperdent little chap started to run after me, a-yellin' all the way. I'd a horsewhipped him if I c'd 'a' reached him."
"I wish you wouldn't feel so about boys," deprecatingly said his wife, a little woman; "they don't hurt you none, and I wish you wouldn't, Pa."
"Well, I ain't a-goin' to have 'em round me," snarled Mr. Peters. "An' there ain't no call for you to say any more about's fur's I know, Marindy," and he jerked open the newspaper, put his feet on the round of another chair, got his spectacles out of their case and on his nose, and prepared to be comfortable. He never knew when his paper slid to the floor, and his bald head was bobbing over his empty hands. Mrs. Marinda Peters was upstairs sorting rags to give the rag-man when next he came by, the only way she could earn a little money for her own use, and the daughter was away; so Joel Pepper walked in without any one's knowing it. He had knocked and knocked at the kitchen door until his knuckles16 were sore, and tired of waiting, concluded to walk in by himself; for go home he would not, with Mr. Peters' cent in his pocket. So he marched in and stood by the old man's chair.
"Here's your cent," he said, holding it out in his hot fingers. His empty pail struck suddenly on the edge of the chair with a clang, the noise, more than the words, waking the old man up.
"Hey? What d'ye want?" cried Mr. Peters, his eyes flying open suddenly.
"Your cent," said Joel, holding it out. "A cent? I hain't any money to give ye," snarled old Mr. Peters, now fully10 aroused, "And d'ye git out of this house soon's ye can, or I'll give ye suthin' to git for." His spectacles slipped to the end of his nose as he started to get out of the chair.
"I don't want any cent," said Joel, hotly, sticking the one between his finger and thumb up under the old man's nose. "Here, take it. Don't you see it? It's yours."
"Mine? My cent?" repeated the old man, staring at it. "What d'ye mean? I hain't give ye no cent."
"I found it in the road. You dropped it," said Joel, feeling tired to death. And dropping it hastily on the window-ledge he hurried off, swinging his tin pail violently.
"What's the matter?" asked Mrs. Peters, at the sound of the voices; and, leaving the rag-bag suddenly, she hurried over the stairs. Old Mr. Peters, hearing her coming, picked up the cent, and, not stopping to put it in the old leather pocket-book, slipped it into his vest pocket, and seizing the newspaper, fell to reading.
"Joel," called Mrs. Peters, as Joel was running out of the untidy yard, "what is it? Come here and tell me."
"Let th' boy alone, can't ye, Marindy?" screamed Mr. Peters, irritably17; "beats all how you allers interfere18 in my business--just like a woman!" he fumed19, as Joel came back slowly.
But Mrs. Peters was as persistent20 in her way as her husband, and she soon had the whole story laid bare. When that was done, she took Joel into the buttery and gave him a big wedge of custard pie. "You better go t'other way, and not past the keepin' room window," she said, "and eat it."
Joel, with enthusiasm considerably21 abated22 as he examined his pie in the shadow of the big seringa bushes, concluded he didn't want it very much. But feeling very hungry, which was his usual condition, he finished it to the last crumb23. "There warn't any sugar in, for one thing," he said critically. "I wonder why folks can bake pies who don't know how, and Mamsie never can have any."
"That boy found your cent in th' road, and brought it clear way up here," cried Mrs. Marindy, on a high key, going into the keeping room, where the old man sat absorbed in his paper.
"S'pose he did?" grunted24 old Mr. Peters.
"I sh'd think you'd 'a' give it to him, Pa. It's a shame. Such a hot day as 'tis, too."
"I don't have no cents to throw away," snarled old Mr. Peters. "And I wish you'd let me read my paper in peace and quiet."
"Well, I sh'd think anybody who'd got a heart in their bosom25 'ud feel sorry for them five little Pepperses. I don't s'pose they see a cent to spend from one year's end to another." And she made up her mind to bake a whole custard pie, sometime, and smuggle26 it down to Mrs. Pepper.
"Though how I'll manage," she lamented27, "would puzzle the Dutch and Tom Walker. But I'll try, just the same."
Meanwhile, Joel, though he made light of the cent business, was relating his visit to the Peters' homestead, and the presentation of the piece of pie.
"'Twas most horrid28 old pie," he said, with a wry29 face.
"Oh, Joey," said Mrs. Pepper, "when Mrs. Peters tried to be kind to you. You ate it, didn't you?" and she laughed with the others when he said yes.
"But 'twas horrid," cried Joe. "I can't help it, Mamsie. There wasn't any sugar in it, and it was black and smutty and thin. Why don't we ever have any pie in the little brown house, Mamsie?" he asked suddenly.
"Why don't little boys talk sensibly?" asked Mrs. Pepper. "It's a great deal to have the little brown house, anyway, Joel, I sh'd think you'd know that."
"Mamsie," said Polly, hearing this, "s'posin' we didn't have the little brown house; just s'posin', Mammy," and her cheek turned quite white.
"I know it, Polly," said Mrs. Pepper, quickly, setting busy stitches on Davie's jacket, where she was rapidly sewing a patch, "that's the way to talk. Just supposing we hadn't any little brown house."
"But we have got it, Mamsie," said Joel, throwing himself flat on the floor, to indulge in a long and restful roll.
"Well, we may not always have it. If folks don't appreciate their blessings30, sometimes they fly away."
"How's the little brown house going to fly away, Mamsie?" demanded Joel, sitting quite straight.
"Well, it may," said Mrs. Pepper, with a wise little nod. "Mercies often take to themselves wings. Come, Polly, you may pick out these basting31 threads; that patch is done, thank fortune!"
Joel hopped to his feet, and ran swiftly out, craning his neck to see the tip of the chimney on the little house, and surveying it critically on all sides.
"It isn't going to fly--it isn't," he declared, quite relieved. Polly humming away some merry nonsense to Mamsie, neither of them heard him. So he came close to their chairs and repeated it: "Say, the little brown house can't fly away--there ain't any wings."
"You take care you don't say anything discontented about not having pie and other things," said Mother Pepper with a smile, looking off from her work for a minute to let her eyes rest on his face, "and I guess the wings won't grow, Joey."
"Anyway, I'm glad I don't live at old man Peterses house," said Joel, going back to his resting-place on the floor, and waving his feet in the air.
"Mamsie, do you suppose old Mr. Peters ever was a little boy?" asked Davie, thoughtfully.
"Dear me, yes," said Mrs. Pepper, abstractedly, as she was lost in thought over the question, Could she get the patch on Joel's little trousers before dark?
"A real boy?" persisted David. "Yes, of course," answered Mother Pepper, moving her chair to get a little more of the waning32 light. "But I don't know what kind of a boy," she added. "I don't think he was a very nice boy, Mamsie," declared David. "Not a real, very splendid one."
"Huh!" cried Joel, in a tone of contempt. "I guess he wasn't, Dave Pepper! I wouldn't have played with him at all," he added, in great disgust.
"Wouldn't you, Joel?" cried little David, running over to sit down by him on the floor, and observing great care to keep clear of the waving legs.
"No, indeed, sir," declared Joel. "I wouldn't have played once with him, not if he'd lent me his knife. An' his skates and--"
"Oh, Joel, not even if he'd lent you his skates?" cried David, incredulously.
"No, sir-ree! Nor if he'd let me have his horse to drive as much as I wanted to," declared Joel, most positively33, with another wave of his legs.
Little David collapsed34 on the floor by his side, his eyes fixed35 on the ceiling, as he lay and thought it over.
"I'd 'a' said, 'Go right away, you bad old Peters boy.'" cried Joel, delighted at impressing David so completely, "'or I'll take a stick to you.'"
"And then you'd be very much like old Mr. Peters yourself, Joel," said Polly, catching36 the last words.


1 orchard UJzxu     
  • My orchard is bearing well this year.今年我的果园果实累累。
  • Each bamboo house was surrounded by a thriving orchard.每座竹楼周围都是茂密的果园。
2 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。
3 hopped 91b136feb9c3ae690a1c2672986faa1c     
跳上[下]( hop的过去式和过去分词 ); 单足蹦跳; 齐足(或双足)跳行; 摘葎草花
  • He hopped onto a car and wanted to drive to town. 他跳上汽车想开向市区。
  • He hopped into a car and drove to town. 他跳进汽车,向市区开去。
4 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。
5 battered NyezEM     
  • He drove up in a battered old car.他开着一辆又老又破的旧车。
  • The world was brutally battered but it survived.这个世界遭受了惨重的创伤,但它还是生存下来了。
6 scowling bbce79e9f38ff2b7862d040d9e2c1dc7     
怒视,生气地皱眉( scowl的现在分词 )
  • There she was, grey-suited, sweet-faced, demure, but scowling. 她就在那里,穿着灰色的衣服,漂亮的脸上显得严肃而忧郁。 来自英汉文学 - 嘉莉妹妹
  • Scowling, Chueh-hui bit his lips. 他马上把眉毛竖起来。 来自汉英文学 - 家(1-26) - 家(1-26)
7 shrilly a8e1b87de57fd858801df009e7a453fe     
尖声的; 光亮的,耀眼的
  • The librarian threw back his head and laughed shrilly. 图书管理员把头往后面一仰,尖着嗓子哈哈大笑。
  • He half rose in his seat, whistling shrilly between his teeth, waving his hand. 他从车座上半欠起身子,低声打了一个尖锐的唿哨,一面挥挥手。
8 trudge uK2zq     
  • It was a hard trudge up the hill.这趟上山是一次艰难的跋涉。
  • The trudge through the forest will be tiresome.长途跋涉穿越森林会令人疲惫不堪。
9 joyfully joyfully     
adv. 喜悦地, 高兴地
  • She tripped along joyfully as if treading on air. 她高兴地走着,脚底下轻飘飘的。
  • During these first weeks she slaved joyfully. 在最初的几周里,她干得很高兴。
10 fully Gfuzd     
  • The doctor asked me to breathe in,then to breathe out fully.医生让我先吸气,然后全部呼出。
  • They soon became fully integrated into the local community.他们很快就完全融入了当地人的圈子。
11 defiantly defiantly     
  • 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》
12 amble dL1y6     
  • The horse is walking at an amble.这匹马正在溜蹄行走。
  • Every evening,they amble along the bank. 每天晚上,他们都沿着江边悠闲地散步。
13 perspiration c3UzD     
  • It is so hot that my clothes are wet with perspiration.天太热了,我的衣服被汗水湿透了。
  • The perspiration was running down my back.汗从我背上淌下来。
14 exhaustion OPezL     
  • She slept the sleep of exhaustion.她因疲劳而酣睡。
  • His exhaustion was obvious when he fell asleep standing.他站着睡着了,显然是太累了。
15 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
  • 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》
16 knuckles c726698620762d88f738be4a294fae79     
n.(指人)指关节( knuckle的名词复数 );(指动物)膝关节,踝v.(指人)指关节( knuckle的第三人称单数 );(指动物)膝关节,踝
  • He gripped the wheel until his knuckles whitened. 他紧紧握住方向盘,握得指关节都变白了。
  • Her thin hands were twisted by swollen knuckles. 她那双纤手因肿大的指关节而变了形。 来自《简明英汉词典》
17 irritably e3uxw     
  • 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
18 interfere b5lx0     
  • If we interfere, it may do more harm than good.如果我们干预的话,可能弊多利少。
  • When others interfere in the affair,it always makes troubles. 别人一卷入这一事件,棘手的事情就来了。
19 fumed e5b9aff6742212daa59abdcc6c136e16     
愤怒( fume的过去式和过去分词 ); 大怒; 发怒; 冒烟
  • He fumed with rage because she did not appear. 因为她没出现,所以他大发雷霆。
  • He fumed and fretted and did not know what was the matter. 他烦躁,气恼,不知是怎么回事。
20 persistent BSUzg     
  • Albert had a persistent headache that lasted for three days.艾伯特连续头痛了三天。
  • She felt embarrassed by his persistent attentions.他不时地向她大献殷勤,使她很难为情。
21 considerably 0YWyQ     
  • The economic situation has changed considerably.经济形势已发生了相当大的变化。
  • The gap has narrowed considerably.分歧大大缩小了。
22 abated ba788157839fe5f816c707e7a7ca9c44     
减少( abate的过去式和过去分词 ); 减去; 降价; 撤消(诉讼)
  • The worker's concern about cuts in the welfare funding has not abated. 工人们对削减福利基金的关心并没有减少。
  • The heat has abated. 温度降低了。
23 crumb ynLzv     
  • It was the only crumb of comfort he could salvage from the ordeal.这是他从这场磨难里能找到的唯一的少许安慰。
  • Ruth nearly choked on the last crumb of her pastry.鲁斯几乎被糕点的最后一块碎屑所噎住。
24 grunted f18a3a8ced1d857427f2252db2abbeaf     
(猪等)作呼噜声( grunt的过去式和过去分词 ); (指人)发出类似的哼声; 咕哝着说
  • She just grunted, not deigning to look up from the page. 她只咕哝了一声,继续看书,不屑抬起头来看一眼。
  • She grunted some incomprehensible reply. 她咕噜着回答了些令人费解的话。
25 bosom Lt9zW     
  • She drew a little book from her bosom.她从怀里取出一本小册子。
  • A dark jealousy stirred in his bosom.他内心生出一阵恶毒的嫉妒。
26 smuggle 5FNzy     
  • Friends managed to smuggle him secretly out of the country.朋友们想方设法将他秘密送出国了。
  • She has managed to smuggle out the antiques without getting caught.她成功将古董走私出境,没有被逮捕。
27 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 )
  • 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》
28 horrid arozZj     
  • 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。
29 wry hMQzK     
  • He made a wry face and attempted to wash the taste away with coffee.他做了个鬼脸,打算用咖啡把那怪味地冲下去。
  • Bethune released Tung's horse and made a wry mouth.白求恩放开了董的马,噘了噘嘴。
30 blessings 52a399b218b9208cade790a26255db6b     
n.(上帝的)祝福( blessing的名词复数 );好事;福分;因祸得福
  • Afflictions are sometimes blessings in disguise. 塞翁失马,焉知非福。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • We don't rely on blessings from Heaven. 我们不靠老天保佑。 来自《现代汉英综合大词典》
31 basting 8d5dc183572d4f051f15afeb390ee908     
n.疏缝;疏缝的针脚;疏缝用线;涂油v.打( baste的现在分词 );粗缝;痛斥;(烤肉等时)往上抹[浇]油
  • Pam was in the middle of basting the turkey. 帕姆正在往烤鸡上淋油。 来自辞典例句
  • Moreover, roasting and basting operations were continually carried on in front of the genial blaze. 此外,文火上还不断地翻烤着肉食。 来自辞典例句
32 waning waning     
adj.(月亮)渐亏的,逐渐减弱或变小的n.月亏v.衰落( wane的现在分词 );(月)亏;变小;变暗淡
  • Her enthusiasm for the whole idea was waning rapidly. 她对整个想法的热情迅速冷淡了下来。
  • The day is waning and the road is ending. 日暮途穷。 来自《现代汉英综合大词典》
33 positively vPTxw     
  • She was positively glowing with happiness.她满脸幸福。
  • The weather was positively poisonous.这天气着实讨厌。
34 collapsed cwWzSG     
  • Jack collapsed in agony on the floor. 杰克十分痛苦地瘫倒在地板上。
  • The roof collapsed under the weight of snow. 房顶在雪的重压下突然坍塌下来。
35 fixed JsKzzj     
  • 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。
36 catching cwVztY     
  • There are those who think eczema is catching.有人就是认为湿疹会传染。
  • Enthusiasm is very catching.热情非常富有感染力。


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