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首页 » 经典英文小说 » Maid Sally » CHAPTER IX. THE PARSON
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Sally had slept but a little while when something hit her arm, which was stretched out, and lifting her head, she heard a startled cry.
"Lorr de massy, chile! You nearly scare de bref outen my body!" and there was Mammy Leezer, whose staff had touched her arm before the old woman saw her from the side of a tree.
It took but a look or two to see Sally's swollen1 eyes and flushed cheeks.
"Now what a-matter, honey?" asked the soothing2 old voice. "I come over here in de woods fo' some big burdock leaves I knew was here, and I soaks dem in winegar fo' to quiet de mis'ry in my bones. But what grieve you? Tell ole Mammy all 'bout3 it."
Sally shivered with a sob4 that came before[Pg 104] she could keep it back, then she simply said that she had wanted to study, and some one was willing to teach her, but that Mistress Brace5 would not allow it.
Mammy put on the cunning look that meant a good deal.
"Oh, now doan't go bursting yo' poor lil heart over dat," she crooned, "p'raps yous'll be gettin' de schoolin' after all."
"You don't know Mistress Brace," said Sally, with a sad little smile.
"No, I doan't berry much," said Mammy, in a voice that swelled6, "but I might be gettin' to knowin' her better one o' dese days." And she hobbled away, a broad grin on her round face.
When beyond Shady Path, Mammy was delighted to see Mistress Brace striding along, a market basket on her arm.
Now Mammy knew not the first thing about the money that Sally's father had left for his little girl. But she did know that he had boarded in a nice house at Jamestown Corners[Pg 105] when Mistress Brace lived there, that he had appeared to have plenty of money, and that his little girl wore the nicest of clothes.
All this she heard long ago from a colored woman who lived at Jamestown Corners, and would sometimes stop at the quarters at Ingleside.
The dark woman had shaken her head in dismal7 fashion after Mistress Brace removed first to the Flats, and then to Slipside Row, keeping the child with her, and she would say:
"I wonder whar Mars' Dukeen's money all go to, for he had money, shor!"
This rushed into Mammy's mind as Mistress Brace drew near, but she said in her sweet singsong:
"Good evening, mistis, whar de lil one to-night?"
"Who, Sally?" asked Mistress Cory Ann, eying Mammy with a hard, sidelong glance, "I'm sure I don't know where she is."
"Le's see," began Mammy, standing8 still, "didn' some one say she were goin' to de dame9[Pg 106] school or sumpin o' that kind? Seems to me I heerd it somewhar. And she oughter go, too! Her pappy—I know all 'bout her pappy—he meant his lil girl should have learnin' with de best, and oh, de gracious me! such tings as happens to folks as cheats chillern outen their schoolin'!"
Mammy looked around with a fearful air as she added:
"Why, if ennybody try to keep dat young Mars' Lion from learnin' all he want to, de plagues and de torments10 that come upon dem!"
She went muttering away, leaving Mistress Cory Ann wishing that she was on the ocean with her "Mars' Lion." But for all that, her words sunk into Mistress Brace's mind and troubled her, nor could she forget them.
Yet two afternoons of the week she determined11 Sally should not have. But she said to her the next morning that, after thinking things over, she would spare her one afternoon a week, but it must be whenever it was most convenient.
To her surprise Sally replied that she must[Pg 107] go on Wednesday and Saturday afternoons, or not at all.
"Then it's not at all you'll go!" cried the angry mistress, "and remember, the Town House is not far away!"
"What will you do now?" asked her good Fairy, when Sally was alone.
"I do not quite know," Sally made reply, "I must think it out."
When Wednesday came Sally went to her attic12 room after dinner, but Mistress Brace took no notice of it. So very quiet had been Maid Sally during the few days past that Mistress Cory Ann thought all had been given up as to books and schooling13.
But now Sally put on the print dress, coaxed14 down her shining hair, put on her shoes, and slipping out without a word to Mistress Brace, she started for the home of the schoolmistress.
She never forgot the pleasure of that first afternoon at the pretty cottage. A canary-bird was trilling songs in a cage hung out on the porch. In the sitting-room15, the old mother[Pg 108] greeted her from her high-backed, cushioned rocking-chair. The old dame used fine language, and the books, pictures, and solid furniture, everything simple but nice, seemed in a way to belong to the world that Sally herself belonged to.
"You see you don't know just who you are," whispered her Fairy, "but do not mind that, all may be known in good time."
But when Mistress Kent returned from her sister's, and the mother said that Sally had been a good, likely child, and had given her a seed-cake,—Sally was afraid to go home.
So she wandered about, ate the seed-cake for her supper, then, seeing the gate open that led to Parson Kendall's orchard16, she peeped in, noticing a wide, rustic17 chair under a broad tree.
"I wonder if that might be a comfortable chair to rest in awhile," murmured the child, and just to try it she slipped along the green.
Yes, the back came high above her head, and as she sat wondering how she should ever go to[Pg 109] Slipside Row and meet Mistress Cory Ann, she slid off to Dreamland, her pretty head drooping18 to one side, her rosy19 lips parted.
Then as it grew later, but was still quite light, good Parson Kendall walked out in his orchard, and in his walk stopped before the rustic seat under the branching tree.
"What a personable child it is!" he muttered. "Some youthful wayfarer20 well tired out. I wonder who she may be? I know not her countenance21 at all."
When Sally opened her eyes, oh! oh! oh! there stood the parson, in black coat, black waistcoat, black knee-breeches, black stockings, and sober face.
Little people were much afraid of the parson in those days, and in fact he was held in high respect, if not some fear, by people all, and Sally would almost have fallen from the chair in fright, only that Parson Kendall's voice was soft and kind, as he asked:
"Prithee, little one, where is thy home, and art thou very tired?"
[Pg 110]"Speak up!" cried her Fairy, "tell the truth."
"I was afraid to go home, sir," said Sally.
"Hast thou done wrong, my child?"
"I meant not to do wrong," said Sally, "but I ran away."
"Ah, how was that? Tell me the truth about it."
And trembling in every limb, with eyes cast down, poor little Sally stammered22 out the whole story: her longing23, her determination, her fine chance, Mistress Brace's refusal to let her go, and now her fear of returning home.
"I will go with thee to Slipside Row," said the parson, "and do not fear, thou shalt not suffer in any way."
And now again, had Sally been a well-taught child, she would have known how mean a thing it was to listen to what might be said in the keeping-room. But when the parson said to Mistress Cory Ann, "I would have speech with thee, Mistress Brace," up crept Sally to a room over the keeping-room, and lying flat on the[Pg 111] floor, with her ear to a large crack under the window, she could hear nearly all that was said.
Sally had been surprised at the many low curtseys Mistress Cory Ann made when the parson came up to the door, and at the look of fear that had come over her face. Yes, Mistress Brace had indeed looked afraid!
Now Sally heard Parson Kendall say:
"But had you any right to make of the child almost a servant when she was left so sadly alone?"
"It was that or the Town House," said Mistress Brace, shortly.
"Perhaps not," said the parson's calm, firm voice; "our town sendeth not all to the Town House who are poor or unfortunate. Had her father no friends? And was there no money left?"
"I know nothing of her father's friends," said Mistress Brace, "and as to money, very little there was of that, and it has been spent on the girl."
[Pg 112]Ah, but the woman's voice had trembled when she spoke24 of the money, and her face grew very red, so that the parson, knowing something must be wrong, said, sternly:
"I had better lay the case before the burgesses. If the little wench so greatly desireth knowledge, then knowledge she should have. It is my duty to look after an orphan25 child of my parish, who seemeth not to be having the chances she should have."
The dreadful word "burgesses," meaning the men in power, and who governed the colonies, frightened both Mistress Brace and Maid Sally, and very glad was Sally when Mistress Cory Ann exclaimed:
"There be no need, parson, to trouble any of the burgesses! Here the girl has been, here she can stay. If she so much has set her heart on learning, then go she can to Mistress Kent and earn her schooling as the mistress has planned. But I like it not that the girl should run away, not telling me whither she was going."
[Pg 113]"She said all was explained, but that you refused to enter into the plan," said the parson.
"I did not fully26 understand about it," said Mistress Brace, and so mild was her tone that Sally was again much surprised. "Let things take their course," she added, "and twice a week the girl can go where she likes and I will lay no rule against it. Then she can still help betimes."
"We will leave it that way for the present," said the parson, as he seemed to be rising to go, "but no blame is to be laid upon the child for telling what she did. I saw that she was in trouble and asked the cause. She did no wrong to answer truthfully. I shall now feel it my duty to see that the young maid hath a fair chance to learn what good Mistress Kent knoweth full well how to impart. I wish thee good day, Mistress Brace."
Sally scudded27 away, her eyes fairly dancing with joy.
"Fairy! O Fairy!" she cried under her breath, "a fine dream has come true! I shall go[Pg 114] to Mistress Kent and learn! learn! learn! Blessings28 on thee, good parson! I would like to thank thee."
"Be wise and let not any one know what you have overheard," warned her Fairy.
"Indeed, I shall know nothing at all," laughed Sally, "until Mistress Cory Ann says to me I can go schooling twice a week;" and Sally's eyes sparkled like fire.
When Saturday came, but not until then, Mistress Cory Ann said, with a scornful toss of her head:
"Since you think it so fine a thing to dabble29 in books, and choose to fill your head with what others have got along plenty well without, I care not where you go this afternoon, but mind you show smartness at other times, or the twice-a-week trips will cease."
That was all, and that was enough. Sally knew now that her pet dream was to work itself out beautifully.
She had a few pence earned by mending, and at Goodman Chatfield's store she begged to know[Pg 115] if ninepence would buy a decent pair of stockings.
"Indeed, no, a shilling is the least that will buy stockings of any kind," said storeman Chatfield, who in very truth liked to chatter30. "But I am much wanting an errand done at the Cloverlove plantation31, and if you would do it, I will, with the ninepence, give a pair of hosen that will stand you well."
It was half a mile to Cloverlove plantation, and half a mile back, but Sally gladly did the errand, and ran home happy as any bird with a smart new pair of stockings tucked under her arm.[Pg 116]


1 swollen DrcwL     
  • Her legs had got swollen from standing up all day.因为整天站着,她的双腿已经肿了。
  • A mosquito had bitten her and her arm had swollen up.蚊子叮了她,她的手臂肿起来了。
2 soothing soothing     
  • 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。
3 bout Asbzz     
  • I was suffering with a bout of nerves.我感到一阵紧张。
  • That bout of pneumonia enfeebled her.那次肺炎的发作使她虚弱了。
4 sob HwMwx     
  • The child started to sob when he couldn't find his mother.孩子因找不到他妈妈哭了起来。
  • The girl didn't answer,but continued to sob with her head on the table.那个女孩不回答,也不抬起头来。她只顾低声哭着。
5 brace 0WzzE     
n. 支柱,曲柄,大括号; v. 绷紧,顶住,(为困难或坏事)做准备
  • My daughter has to wear a brace on her teeth. 我的女儿得戴牙套以矫正牙齿。
  • You had better brace yourself for some bad news. 有些坏消息,你最好做好准备。
6 swelled bd4016b2ddc016008c1fc5827f252c73     
增强( swell的过去式和过去分词 ); 肿胀; (使)凸出; 充满(激情)
  • The infection swelled his hand. 由于感染,他的手肿了起来。
  • After the heavy rain the river swelled. 大雨过后,河水猛涨。
7 dismal wtwxa     
  • That is a rather dismal melody.那是一支相当忧郁的歌曲。
  • My prospects of returning to a suitable job are dismal.我重新找到一个合适的工作岗位的希望很渺茫。
8 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。
9 dame dvGzR0     
  • The dame tell of her experience as a wife and mother.这位年长妇女讲了她作妻子和母亲的经验。
  • If you stick around,you'll have to marry that dame.如果再逗留多一会,你就要跟那个夫人结婚。
10 torments 583b07d85b73539874dc32ae2ffa5f78     
(肉体或精神上的)折磨,痛苦( torment的名词复数 ); 造成痛苦的事物[人]
  • He released me from my torments. 他解除了我的痛苦。
  • He suffered torments from his aching teeth. 他牙痛得难受。
11 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。
12 attic Hv4zZ     
  • Leakiness in the roof caused a damp attic.屋漏使顶楼潮湿。
  • What's to be done with all this stuff in the attic?顶楼上的材料怎么处理?
13 schooling AjAzM6     
  • A child's access to schooling varies greatly from area to area.孩子获得学校教育的机会因地区不同而大相径庭。
  • Backward children need a special kind of schooling.天赋差的孩子需要特殊的教育。
14 coaxed dc0a6eeb597861b0ed72e34e52490cd1     
v.哄,用好话劝说( coax的过去式和过去分词 );巧言骗取;哄劝,劝诱
  • She coaxed the horse into coming a little closer. 她哄着那匹马让它再靠近了一点。
  • I coaxed my sister into taking me to the theatre. 我用好话哄姐姐带我去看戏。 来自《现代汉英综合大词典》
15 sitting-room sitting-room     
  • The sitting-room is clean.起居室很清洁。
  • Each villa has a separate sitting-room.每栋别墅都有一间独立的起居室。
16 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。
17 rustic mCQz9     
  • It was nearly seven months of leisurely rustic living before Michael felt real boredom.这种悠闲的乡村生活过了差不多七个月之后,迈克尔开始感到烦闷。
  • We hoped the fresh air and rustic atmosphere would help him adjust.我们希望新鲜的空气和乡村的氛围能帮他调整自己。
18 drooping drooping     
adj. 下垂的,无力的 动词droop的现在分词
  • The drooping willows are waving gently in the morning breeze. 晨风中垂柳袅袅。
  • The branches of the drooping willows were swaying lightly. 垂柳轻飘飘地摆动。
19 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。
20 wayfarer 6eEzeA     
  • You are the solitary wayfarer in this deserted street.在这冷寂的街上,你是孤独的行人。
  • The thirsty wayfarer was glad to find a fresh spring near the road.口渴的徒步旅行者很高兴在路边找到新鲜的泉水。
21 countenance iztxc     
  • At the sight of this photograph he changed his countenance.他一看见这张照片脸色就变了。
  • I made a fierce countenance as if I would eat him alive.我脸色恶狠狠地,仿佛要把他活生生地吞下去。
22 stammered 76088bc9384c91d5745fd550a9d81721     
v.结巴地说出( stammer的过去式和过去分词 )
  • He stammered most when he was nervous. 他一紧张往往口吃。 来自《现代英汉综合大词典》
  • Barsad leaned back in his chair, and stammered, \"What do you mean?\" 巴萨往椅背上一靠,结结巴巴地说,“你是什么意思?” 来自英汉文学 - 双城记
23 longing 98bzd     
  • Hearing the tune again sent waves of longing through her.再次听到那首曲子使她胸中充满了渴望。
  • His heart burned with longing for revenge.他心中燃烧着急欲复仇的怒火。
24 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。
25 orphan QJExg     
  • He brought up the orphan and passed onto him his knowledge of medicine.他把一个孤儿养大,并且把自己的医术传给了他。
  • The orphan had been reared in a convent by some good sisters.这个孤儿在一所修道院里被几个好心的修女带大。
26 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。
27 scudded c462f8ea5bb84e37045ac6f3ce9c5bfc     
v.(尤指船、舰或云彩)笔直、高速而平稳地移动( scud的过去式和过去分词 )
  • White clouds scudded across the sky. 白云在天空疾驰而过。 来自《现代英汉综合大词典》
  • Clouds scudded across the sky driven by high winds. 劲风吹着飞云掠过天空。 来自辞典例句
28 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》
29 dabble dabble     
  • They dabble in the stock market.他们少量投资于股市。
  • Never dabble with things of which you have no knowledge.绝不要插手你不了解的事物。
30 chatter BUfyN     
  • Her continuous chatter vexes me.她的喋喋不休使我烦透了。
  • I've had enough of their continual chatter.我已厌烦了他们喋喋不休的闲谈。
31 plantation oOWxz     
  • His father-in-law is a plantation manager.他岳父是个种植园经营者。
  • The plantation owner has possessed himself of a vast piece of land.这个种植园主把大片土地占为己有。


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