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首页 » 经典英文小说 » The Dark Star » CHAPTER VIII A CHANGE IMPENDS
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 The racing1 season at Saratoga drew toward its close, and Brandes had appeared there only twice in person, both times with a very young girl.
“If you got to bring her here to the races, can’t you get her some clothes?” whispered Stull in his ear. “That get-up of hers is something fierce.”
Late hours, hot weather, indiscreet nourishment3, and the feverish4 anxiety incident to betting other people’s money had told on Stull. His eyes were like two smears5 of charcoal6 on his pasty face; sourly he went about the business which Brandes should have attended to, nursing resentment—although he was doing better than Brandes had hoped to do.
Their joint7 commission from his winnings began to assume considerable proportions; at track and club and hotel people were beginning to turn and stare when the little man with the face of a sick circus clown appeared, always alone, greeting with pallid8 indifference9 his acquaintances, ignoring overtures10, noticing neither sport, nor fashion, nor political importance, nor yet the fair and frail11 whose curiosity and envy he was gradually arousing.
Obsequiousness12 from club, hotel, and racing officials made no impression on him; he went about his business alone, sullen13, preoccupied14, deathly pale, asking no information, requesting no favours, conferring with nobody, doing no whispering and enduring none.81
After a little study of that white, sardonic15, impossible face, people who would have been glad to make use of him became discouraged. And those who first had recognised him in Saratoga found, at the end of the racing month, nothing to add to their general identification of him as “Ben Stull, partner of Eddie Brandes—Western sports.”
Stull, whispering in Brandes’ ear again, where he sat beside him in the grand stand, added to his earlier comment on Ruhannah’s appearance:
“Why don’t you fix her up, Eddie? It looks like you been robbing a country school.”
Brandes’ slow, greenish eyes marked sleepily the distant dust, where Mr. Sanford’s Nick Stoner was leading a brilliant field, steadily16 overhauling17 the favourite, Deborah Glenn.
“When the time comes for me to fix her up,” he said between thin lips which scarcely moved, “she’ll look like Washington Square in May—not like Fifth Avenue and Broadway.”
Nick Stoner continued to lead. Stull’s eyes resembled two holes burnt in a sheet; Brandes yawned. They were plunging18 the limit on the Sanford favourite.
As for Ruhannah, she sat with slender gloved hands tightly clasped, lips parted, intent, fascinated with the sunlit beauty of the scene.
Brandes looked at her, and his heavy, expressionless features altered subtly:
“Some running!” he said.
A breathless nod was her response. All around them repressed excitement was breaking out; men stood up and shouted; women rose, and the club house seemed 82suddenly to blossom like a magic garden of wind-tossed flowers.
Through the increasing cheering Stull looked on without a sign of emotion, although affluence19 or ruin, in the Sanford colours, sat astride the golden roan.
Suddenly Ruhannah stood up, one hand pressed to the ill-fitting blue serge over her wildly beating heart. Brandes rose beside her. Not a muscle in his features moved.
“Gawd!” whispered Stull in his ear, as they were leaving.
“Some killing20, Ben!” nodded Brandes in his low, deliberate voice. His heavy, round face was deeply flushed; Fortune, the noisy wanton, had flung both arms around his neck. But his slow eyes were continually turned on the slim young girl whom he was teaching to walk beside him without taking his arm.
“Ain’t she on to us?” Stull had enquired21. And Brandes’ reply was correct; Ruhannah never dreamed that it made a penny’s difference to Brandes whether Nick Stoner won or whether it was Deborah Glenn which the wild-voiced throng22 saluted23.
They did not remain in Saratoga for dinner. They took Stull back to his hotel on the rumble24 of the runabout, Brandes remarking that he thought he should need a chauffeur25 before long and suggesting that Stull look about Saratoga for a likely one.
Halted in the crush before the United States Hotel, Stull decided26 to descend27 there. Several men in the passing crowds bowed to Brandes; one, Norton Smawley, known to the fraternity as “Parson” Smawley, came out to the curb28 to shake hands. Brandes 83introduced him to Rue29 as “Parson” Smawley—whether with some sinister30 future purpose already beginning to take shape in his round, heavy head, or whether a perverted31 sense of humour prompted him to give Rue the idea that she had been in godly company, it is difficult to determine.
He added that Miss Carew was the daughter of a clergyman and a missionary32. And the Parson took his cue. At any rate Rue, leaning from her seat, listened to the persuasive33 and finely modulated34 voice of Parson Smawley with pleasure, and found his sleek35, graceful36 presence and courtly manners most agreeable. There were no such persons in Gayfield.
She hoped, shyly, that if he were in Gayfield he would call on her father. Once in a very long while clergymen called on her father, and their rare visits remained a pleasure to the lonely invalid37 for months.
The Parson promised to call, very gravely. It would not have embarrassed him to do so; it was his business in life to have a sufficient knowledge of every man’s business to enable him to converse38 convincingly with anybody.
He took polished leave of her; took leave of Brandes with the faintest flutter of one eyelid39, as though he understood Brandes’ game. Which he did not; nor did Brandes himself, entirely40.
They had thirty miles to go in the runabout. So they would not remain to dinner. Besides, Brandes did not care to make himself conspicuous41 in public just then. Too many people knew more or less about him—the sort of people who might possibly be in communication with his wife. There was no use slapping chance in the face. Two quiet visits to the races with Ruhannah 84was enough for the present. Even those two visits were scarcely discreet2. It was time to go.
Stull and Brandes stood consulting together beside the runabout; Rue sat in the machine watching the press of carriages and automobiles42 on Broadway, and the thronged43 sidewalks along which brilliant, animated44 crowds were pouring.
“I’m not coming again, Ben,” said Brandes, dropping his voice. “No use to hunt the limelight just now. You can’t tell what some of these people might do. I’ll take no chances that some fresh guy might try to start something.”
“Stir up Minna?” Stull’s lips merely formed the question, and his eyes watched Ruhannah.
“They couldn’t. What would she care? All the same, I play safe, Ben. Well, be good. Better send me mine on pay day. I’ll need it.”
Stull’s face grew sourer:
“Can’t you wait till she gets her decree?”
“And lose a month off? No.”
“It’s all coming your way, Eddie. Stay wise and play safe. Don’t start anything now––”
“It’s safe. If I don’t take September off I wait a year for my—honeymoon. And I won’t. See?”
They both looked cautiously at Ruhannah, who sat motionless, absorbed in the turmoil45 of vehicles and people.
Brandes’ face slowly reddened; he dropped one hand on Stull’s shoulder and said, between thin lips that scarcely moved:
“She’s all I’m interested in. You don’t think much of her, Ben. She isn’t painted. She isn’t dolled up the way you like ’em. But there isn’t anything else that matters very much to me. All I want in the world is 85sitting in that runabout, looking out of her kid eyes at a thousand or two people who ain’t worth the pair of run-down shoes she’s wearing.”
But Stull’s expression remained sardonic and unconvinced.
So Brandes got into his car and took the wheel; and Stull watched them threading a tortuous46 path through the traffic tangle47 of Broadway.
They sped past the great hotels, along crowded sidewalks, along the park, and out into an endless stretch of highway where hundreds of other cars were travelling in the same direction.
“Did you have a good time?” he inquired, shifting his cigar and keeping his narrow eyes on the road.
“Yes; it was beautiful—exciting.”
“Some horse, Nick Stoner! Some race, eh?”
“I was so excited—with everybody standing48 up and shouting. And such beautiful horses—and such pretty women in their wonderful dresses! I—I never knew there were such things.”
He swung the car, sent it rushing past a lumbering49 limousine50, slowed a little, gripped his cigar between his teeth, and watched the road, both hands on the wheel.
Yes, things were coming his way—coming faster and faster all the while. He had waited many years for this—for material fortune—for that chance which every gambler waits to seize when the psychological second ticks out. But he never had expected that the chance was to include a very young girl in a country-made dress and hat.
As they sped westward51 the freshening wind from distant pine woods whipped their cheeks; north, blue hills and bluer mountains beyond took fairy shape against the sky; and over all spread the tremendous heavens 86where fleets of white clouds sailed the uncharted wastes, and other fleets glimmered52 beyond the edges of the world, hull53 down, on vast horizons.
“I want to make you happy,” said Brandes in his low, even voice. It was, perhaps, the most honest statement he had ever uttered.
Ruhannah remained silent, her eyes riveted54 on the far horizon.
It was a week later, one hot evening, that he telegraphed to Stull in Saratoga:
“Find me a chauffeur who will be willing to go abroad. I’ll give you twenty-four hours to get him here.”
The next morning he called up Stull on the telephone from the drug store in Gayfield:
“Get my wire, Ben?”
“Yes. But I––”
“Wait. Here’s a postscript55. I also want Parson Smawley. I want him to get a car and come over to the Gayfield House. Tell him I count on him. And he’s to wear black and a white tie.”
“Yes. But about that chauffeur you want––”
“Don’t argue. Have him here. Have the Parson, also. Tell him to bring a white tie. Understand?”
“Oh, yes, I understand you, Eddie! You don’t want anything of me, do you! Go out and get that combination? Just like that! What’ll I do? Step into the street and whistle?”
“It’s up to you. Get busy.”
“As usual,” retorted Stull in an acrid56 voice. “All the same. I’m telling you there ain’t a chauffeur you’d have in Saratoga. Who handed you that dope?”
“Try. I need the chauffeur part of the combine, 87anyway. If he won’t go abroad, I’ll leave him in town. Get a wiggle on, Ben. How’s things?”
“All right. We had War-axe and Lady Johnson. Some killing, eh? That stable is winning all along. We’ve got Adriutha and Queen Esther today. The Ocean Belle57 skate is scratched. Doc and Cap and me is thick with the Legislature outfit58. We’ll trim ’em tonight. How are you feeling, Eddie?”
“Never better. I’ll call you up in the morning. Ding-dong!”
“Wait! Are you really going abroad?” shouted Stull.
But Brandes had already hung up.
He walked leisurely59 back to Brookhollow through the sunshine. He had never been as happy in all his life.


1 racing 1ksz3w     
  • I was watching the racing on television last night.昨晚我在电视上看赛马。
  • The two racing drivers fenced for a chance to gain the lead.两个赛车手伺机竞相领先。
2 discreet xZezn     
  • He is very discreet in giving his opinions.发表意见他十分慎重。
  • It wasn't discreet of you to ring me up at the office.你打电话到我办公室真是太鲁莽了。
3 nourishment Ovvyi     
  • Lack of proper nourishment reduces their power to resist disease.营养不良降低了他们抵抗疾病的能力。
  • He ventured that plants draw part of their nourishment from the air.他大胆提出植物从空气中吸收部分养分的观点。
4 feverish gzsye     
  • He is too feverish to rest.他兴奋得安静不下来。
  • They worked with feverish haste to finish the job.为了完成此事他们以狂热的速度工作着。
5 smears ff795c29bb653b3db2c08e7c1b20f633     
污迹( smear的名词复数 ); 污斑; (显微镜的)涂片; 诽谤
  • His evidence was a blend of smears, half truths and downright lies. 他的证词里掺杂着诽谤、部份的事实和彻头彻尾的谎言。
  • Anything written with a soft pencil smears easily. 用软铅笔写成的东西容易污成一片。
6 charcoal prgzJ     
  • 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。
7 joint m3lx4     
  • I had a bad fall,which put my shoulder out of joint.我重重地摔了一跤,肩膀脫臼了。
  • We wrote a letter in joint names.我们联名写了封信。
8 pallid qSFzw     
  • The moon drifted from behind the clouds and exposed the pallid face.月亮从云朵后面钻出来,照着尸体那张苍白的脸。
  • His dry pallid face often looked gaunt.他那张干瘪苍白的脸常常显得憔悴。
9 indifference k8DxO     
  • I was disappointed by his indifference more than somewhat.他的漠不关心使我很失望。
  • He feigned indifference to criticism of his work.他假装毫不在意别人批评他的作品。
10 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
11 frail yz3yD     
  • Mrs. Warner is already 96 and too frail to live by herself.华纳太太已经九十六岁了,身体虚弱,不便独居。
  • She lay in bed looking particularly frail.她躺在床上,看上去特别虚弱。
12 obsequiousness b03ac0baf4709e57f4532c3320a8c526     
  • He became rebarbative and prickly and spiteful; I find his obsequiousness repellent. 他变得令人讨厌、易发怒,怀有恶意;我发现他的奉承令人厌恶。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • He was free from all sycophancy or obsequiousness in the face of the reactionary ruling class. 他在反动统治阶级面前没有丝毫的奴颜与媚骨。 来自《现代汉英综合大词典》
13 sullen kHGzl     
  • 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。
14 preoccupied TPBxZ     
adj.全神贯注的,入神的;被抢先占有的;心事重重的v.占据(某人)思想,使对…全神贯注,使专心于( preoccupy的过去式)
  • He was too preoccupied with his own thoughts to notice anything wrong. 他只顾想着心事,没注意到有什么不对。
  • The question of going to the Mount Tai preoccupied his mind. 去游泰山的问题盘踞在他心头。 来自《简明英汉词典》
15 sardonic jYyxL     
  • She gave him a sardonic smile.她朝他讥讽地笑了一笑。
  • There was a sardonic expression on her face.她脸上有一种嘲讽的表情。
16 steadily Qukw6     
  • The scope of man's use of natural resources will steadily grow.人类利用自然资源的广度将日益扩大。
  • Our educational reform was steadily led onto the correct path.我们的教学改革慢慢上轨道了。
17 overhauling c335839deaeda81ce0dd680301931584     
n.大修;拆修;卸修;翻修v.彻底检查( overhaul的现在分词 );大修;赶上;超越
  • I had no chance of overhauling him. 我没有赶上他的可能。 来自辞典例句
  • Some sites need little alterations but some need total overhauling. 有些网站需要做出细微修改,而有些网站就需要整体改版。 来自互联网
18 plunging 5fe12477bea00d74cd494313d62da074     
adj.跳进的,突进的v.颠簸( plunge的现在分词 );暴跌;骤降;突降
  • War broke out again, plunging the people into misery and suffering. 战祸复发,生灵涂炭。 来自《现代汉英综合大词典》
  • He is plunging into an abyss of despair. 他陷入了绝望的深渊。 来自《简明英汉词典》
19 affluence lx4zf     
  • Their affluence is more apparent than real.他们的富有是虚有其表。
  • There is a lot of affluence in this part of the state because it has many businesses.这个州的这一部分相当富有,因为它有很多商行。
20 killing kpBziQ     
  • Investors are set to make a killing from the sell-off.投资者准备清仓以便大赚一笔。
  • Last week my brother made a killing on Wall Street.上个周我兄弟在华尔街赚了一大笔。
21 enquired 4df7506569079ecc60229e390176a0f6     
打听( enquire的过去式和过去分词 ); 询问; 问问题; 查问
  • He enquired for the book in a bookstore. 他在书店查询那本书。
  • Fauchery jestingly enquired whether the Minister was coming too. 浮式瑞嘲笑着问部长是否也会来。
22 throng sGTy4     
  • A patient throng was waiting in silence.一大群耐心的人在静静地等着。
  • The crowds thronged into the mall.人群涌进大厅。
23 saluted 1a86aa8dabc06746471537634e1a215f     
v.欢迎,致敬( salute的过去式和过去分词 );赞扬,赞颂
  • The sergeant stood to attention and saluted. 中士立正敬礼。
  • He saluted his friends with a wave of the hand. 他挥手向他的朋友致意。 来自《简明英汉词典》
24 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。
25 chauffeur HrGzL     
  • The chauffeur handed the old lady from the car.这个司机搀扶这个老太太下汽车。
  • She went out herself and spoke to the chauffeur.她亲自走出去跟汽车司机说话。
26 decided lvqzZd     
  • 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。
27 descend descend     
  • I hope the grace of God would descend on me.我期望上帝的恩惠。
  • We're not going to descend to such methods.我们不会沦落到使用这种手段。
28 curb LmRyy     
  • I could not curb my anger.我按捺不住我的愤怒。
  • You must curb your daughter when you are in church.你在教堂时必须管住你的女儿。
29 rue 8DGy6     
  • You'll rue having failed in the examination.你会悔恨考试失败。
  • You're going to rue this the longest day that you live.你要终身悔恨不尽呢。
30 sinister 6ETz6     
  • There is something sinister at the back of that series of crimes.在这一系列罪行背后有险恶的阴谋。
  • Their proposals are all worthless and designed out of sinister motives.他们的建议不仅一钱不值,而且包藏祸心。
31 perverted baa3ff388a70c110935f711a8f95f768     
adj.不正当的v.滥用( pervert的过去式和过去分词 );腐蚀;败坏;使堕落
  • Some scientific discoveries have been perverted to create weapons of destruction. 某些科学发明被滥用来生产毁灭性武器。
  • sexual acts, normal and perverted 正常的和变态的性行为
32 missionary ID8xX     
  • She taught in a missionary school for a couple of years.她在一所教会学校教了两年书。
  • I hope every member understands the value of missionary work. 我希望教友都了解传教工作的价值。
33 persuasive 0MZxR     
  • His arguments in favour of a new school are very persuasive.他赞成办一座新学校的理由很有说服力。
  • The evidence was not really persuasive enough.证据并不是太有说服力。
34 modulated b5bfb3c5c3ebc18c62afa9380ab74ba5     
  • He carefully modulated his voice. 他小心地压低了声音。
  • He had a plump face, lemur-like eyes, a quiet, subtle, modulated voice. 他有一张胖胖的脸,狐猴般的眼睛,以及安详、微妙和富于抑扬顿挫的嗓音。
35 sleek zESzJ     
  • Women preferred sleek,shiny hair with little decoration.女士们更喜欢略加修饰的光滑闪亮型秀发。
  • The horse's coat was sleek and glossy.这匹马全身润泽有光。
36 graceful deHza     
  • His movements on the parallel bars were very graceful.他的双杠动作可帅了!
  • The ballet dancer is so graceful.芭蕾舞演员的姿态是如此的优美。
37 invalid V4Oxh     
  • He will visit an invalid.他将要去看望一个病人。
  • A passport that is out of date is invalid.护照过期是无效的。
38 converse 7ZwyI     
  • He can converse in three languages.他可以用3种语言谈话。
  • I wanted to appear friendly and approachable but I think I gave the converse impression.我想显得友好、平易近人些,却发觉给人的印象恰恰相反。
39 eyelid zlcxj     
  • She lifted one eyelid to see what he was doing.她抬起一只眼皮看看他在做什么。
  • My eyelid has been tumid since yesterday.从昨天起,我的眼皮就肿了。
40 entirely entirely     
  • 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。
41 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。
42 automobiles 760a1b7b6ea4a07c12e5f64cc766962b     
n.汽车( automobile的名词复数 )
  • When automobiles become popular,the use of the horse and buggy passed away. 汽车普及后,就不再使用马和马车了。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • Automobiles speed in an endless stream along the boulevard. 宽阔的林荫道上,汽车川流不息。 来自《现代汉英综合大词典》
43 thronged bf76b78f908dbd232106a640231da5ed     
v.成群,挤满( throng的过去式和过去分词 )
  • Mourners thronged to the funeral. 吊唁者蜂拥着前来参加葬礼。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • The department store was thronged with people. 百货商店挤满了人。 来自《现代英汉综合大词典》
44 animated Cz7zMa     
  • His observations gave rise to an animated and lively discussion.他的言论引起了一场气氛热烈而活跃的讨论。
  • We had an animated discussion over current events last evening.昨天晚上我们热烈地讨论时事。
45 turmoil CKJzj     
  • His mind was in such a turmoil that he couldn't get to sleep.内心的纷扰使他无法入睡。
  • The robbery put the village in a turmoil.抢劫使全村陷入混乱。
46 tortuous 7J2za     
  • We have travelled a tortuous road.我们走过了曲折的道路。
  • They walked through the tortuous streets of the old city.他们步行穿过老城区中心弯弯曲曲的街道。
47 tangle yIQzn     
  • I shouldn't tangle with Peter.He is bigger than me.我不应该与彼特吵架。他的块头比我大。
  • If I were you, I wouldn't tangle with them.我要是你,我就不跟他们争吵。
48 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。
49 lumbering FA7xm     
  • Lumbering and, later, paper-making were carried out in smaller cities. 木材业和后来的造纸都由较小的城市经营。
  • Lumbering is very important in some underdeveloped countries. 在一些不发达的国家,伐木业十分重要。
50 limousine B3NyJ     
  • A chauffeur opened the door of the limousine for the grand lady.司机为这个高贵的女士打开了豪华轿车的车门。
  • We arrived in fine style in a hired limousine.我们很气派地乘坐出租的豪华汽车到达那里。
51 westward XIvyz     
  • We live on the westward slope of the hill.我们住在这座山的西山坡。
  • Explore westward or wherever.向西或到什么别的地方去勘探。
52 glimmered 8dea896181075b2b225f0bf960cf3afd     
v.发闪光,发微光( glimmer的过去式和过去分词 )
  • "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
53 hull 8c8xO     
  • The outer surface of ship's hull is very hard.船体的外表面非常坚硬。
  • The boat's hull has been staved in by the tremendous seas.小船壳让巨浪打穿了。
54 riveted ecef077186c9682b433fa17f487ee017     
铆接( rivet的过去式和过去分词 ); 把…固定住; 吸引; 引起某人的注意
  • I was absolutely riveted by her story. 我完全被她的故事吸引住了。
  • My attention was riveted by a slight movement in the bushes. 我的注意力被灌木丛中的轻微晃动吸引住了。
55 postscript gPhxp     
  • There was the usual romantic postscript at the end of his letter.他的信末又是一贯的浪漫附言。
  • She mentioned in a postscript to her letter that the parcel had arrived.她在信末附笔中说包裹已寄到。
56 acrid TJEy4     
  • There is an acrid tone to your remarks.你说这些话的口气带有讥刺意味。
  • The room was filled with acrid smoke.房里充满刺鼻的烟。
57 belle MQly5     
  • She was the belle of her Sunday School class.在主日学校她是她们班的班花。
  • She was the belle of the ball.她是那个舞会中的美女。
58 outfit YJTxC     
  • Jenney bought a new outfit for her daughter's wedding.珍妮为参加女儿的婚礼买了一套新装。
  • His father bought a ski outfit for him on his birthday.他父亲在他生日那天给他买了一套滑雪用具。
59 leisurely 51Txb     
  • We walked in a leisurely manner,looking in all the windows.我们慢悠悠地走着,看遍所有的橱窗。
  • He had a leisurely breakfast and drove cheerfully to work.他从容的吃了早餐,高兴的开车去工作。


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