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首页 » 经典英文小说 » Rodney Stone » CHAPTER XI. THE FIGHT IN THE COACH-HOUSE.
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The curt1 announcement was followed by a moment of silent surprise, and then by a general shout of laughter.  There might be argument as to who was champion at each weight; but there could be no question that all the champions of all the weights were seated round the tables.  An audacious challenge which embraced them one and all, without regard to size or age, could hardly be regarded otherwise than as a joke—but it was a joke which might be a dear one for the joker.
“Is this genuine?” asked my uncle.
“Yes, Sir Charles,” answered the landlord; “the man is waiting below.”
“It’s a kid!” cried several of the fighting-men.  “Some cove2 is a gammonin’ us.”
“Don’t you believe it,” answered the landlord.  “He’s a real slap-up Corinthian, by his dress; and he means what he says, or else I ain’t no judge of a man.”
My uncle whispered for a few moments with the Prince of Wales.  “Well, gentlemen,” said he, at last, “the night is still young, and if any of you should wish to show the company a little of your skill, you could not ask a better opportunity.”
“What weight is he, Bill?” asked Jem Belcher.
“He’s close on six foot, and I should put him well into the thirteen stones when he’s buffed.”
“Heavy metal!” cried Jackson.  “Who takes him on?”
They all wanted to, from nine-stone Dutch Sam upwards4.  The air was filled with their hoarse5 shouts and their arguments why each should be the chosen one.  To fight when they were flushed with wine and ripe for mischief—above all, to fight before so select a company with the Prince at the ringside, was a chance which did not often come in their way.  Only Jackson, Belcher, Mendoza, and one or two others of the senior and more famous men remained silent, thinking it beneath their dignity that they should condescend6 to so irregular a bye-battle.
“Well, you can’t all fight him,” remarked Jackson, when the babel had died away.  “It’s for the chairman to choose.”
“Perhaps your Royal Highness has a preference,” said my uncle.
“By Jove, I’d take him on myself if my position was different,” said the Prince, whose face was growing redder and his eyes more glazed7.  “You’ve seen me with the mufflers, Jackson!  You know my form!”
“I’ve seen your Royal Highness, and I have felt your Royal Highness,” said the courtly Jackson.
“Perhaps Jem Belcher would give us an exhibition,” said my uncle.
Belcher smiled and shook his handsome head.
“There’s my brother Tom here has never been blooded in London yet, sir.  He might make a fairer match of it.”
“Give him over to me!” roared Joe Berks.  “I’ve been waitin’ for a turn all evenin’, an’ I’ll fight any man that tries to take my place.  ’E’s my meat, my masters.  Leave ’im to me if you want to see ’ow a calf’s ’ead should be dressed.  If you put Tom Belcher before me I’ll fight Tom Belcher, an’ for that matter I’ll fight Jem Belcher, or Bill Belcher, or any other Belcher that ever came out of Bristol.”
It was clear that Berks had got to the stage when he must fight some one.  His heavy face was gorged8 and the veins9 stood out on his low forehead, while his fierce grey eyes looked viciously from man to man in quest of a quarrel.  His great red hands were bunched into huge, gnarled fists, and he shook one of them menacingly as his drunken gaze swept round the tables.
“I think you’ll agree with me, gentlemen, that Joe Berks would be all the better for some fresh air and exercise,” said my uncle.  “With the concurrence10 of His Royal Highness and of the company, I shall select him as our champion on this occasion.”
“You do me proud,” cried the fellow, staggering to his feet and pulling at his coat.  “If I don’t glut11 him within the five minutes, may I never see Shropshire again.”
“Wait a bit, Berks,” cried several of the amateurs.  “Where’s it going to be held?”
“Where you like, masters.  I’ll fight him in a sawpit, or on the outside of a coach if it please you.  Put us toe to toe, and leave the rest with me.”
“They can’t fight here with all this litter,” said my uncle.  “Where shall it be?”
“’Pon my soul, Tregellis,” cried the Prince, “I think our unknown friend might have a word to say upon that matter.  He’ll be vastly ill-used if you don’t let him have his own choice of conditions.”
“You are right, sir.  We must have him up.”
“That’s easy enough,” said the landlord, “for here he comes through the doorway12.”
I glanced round and had a side view of a tall and well-dressed young man in a long, brown travelling coat and a black felt hat.  The next instant he had turned and I had clutched with both my hands on to Champion Harrison’s arm.
“Harrison!” I gasped13.  “It’s Boy Jim!”
And yet somehow the possibility and even the probability of it had occurred to me from the beginning, and I believe that it had to Harrison also, for I had noticed that his face grew grave and troubled from the very moment that there was talk of the stranger below.  Now, the instant that the buzz of surprise and admiration14 caused by Jim’s face and figure had died away, Harrison was on his feet, gesticulating in his excitement.
“It’s my nephew Jim, gentlemen,” he cried.  “He’s not twenty yet, and it’s no doing of mine that he should be here.”
“Let him alone, Harrison,” cried Jackson.  “He’s big enough to take care of himself.”
“This matter has gone rather far,” said my uncle.  “I think, Harrison, that you are too good a sportsman to prevent your nephew from showing whether he takes after his uncle.”
“It’s very different from me,” cried Harrison, in great distress15.  “But I’ll tell you what I’ll do, gentlemen.  I never thought to stand up in a ring again, but I’ll take on Joe Berks with pleasure, just to give a bit o’ sport to this company.”
Boy Jim stepped across and laid his hand upon the prize-fighter’s shoulder.
“It must be so, uncle,” I heard him whisper.  “I am sorry to go against your wishes, but I have made up my mind, and I must carry it through.”
Harrison shrugged16 his huge shoulders.
“Jim, Jim, you don’t know what you are doing!  But I’ve heard you speak like that before, boy, and I know that it ends in your getting your way.”
“I trust, Harrison, that your opposition17 is withdrawn18?” said my uncle.
“Can I not take his place?”
“You would not have it said that I gave a challenge and let another carry it out?” whispered Jim.  “This is my one chance.  For Heaven’s sake don’t stand in my way.”
The smith’s broad and usually stolid19 face was all working with his conflicting emotions.  At last he banged his fist down upon the table.
“It’s no fault of mine!” he cried.  “It was to be and it is.  Jim, boy, for the Lord’s sake remember your distances, and stick to out-fightin’ with a man that could give you a stone.”
“I was sure that Harrison would not stand in the way of sport,” said my uncle.  “We are glad that you have stepped up, that we might consult you as to the arrangements for giving effect to your very sporting challenge.”
“Whom am I to fight?” asked Jim, looking round at the company, who were now all upon their feet.
“Young man, you’ll know enough of who you ’ave to fight before you are through with it,” cried Berks, lurching heavily through the crowd.  “You’ll need a friend to swear to you before I’ve finished, d’ye see?”
Jim looked at him with disgust in every line of his face.
“Surely you are not going to set me to fight a drunken man!” said he.  “Where is Jem Belcher?”
“My name, young man.”
“I should be glad to try you, if I may.”
“You must work up to me, my lad.  You don’t take a ladder at one jump, but you do it rung by rung.  Show yourself to be a match for me, and I’ll give you a turn.”
“I’m much obliged to you.”
“And I like the look of you, and wish you well,” said Belcher, holding out his hand.  They were not unlike each other, either in face or figure, though the Bristol man was a few years the older, and a murmur20 of critical admiration was heard as the two tall, lithe21 figures, and keen, clean-cut faces were contrasted.
“Have you any choice where the fight takes place?” asked my uncle.
“I am in your hands, sir,” said Jim.
“Why not go round to the Five’s Court?” suggested Sir John Lade.
“Yes, let us go to the Five’s Court.”
But this did not at all suit the views of the landlord, who saw in this lucky incident a chance of reaping a fresh harvest from his spendthrift company.
“If it please you,” he cried, “there is no need to go so far.  My coach-house at the back of the yard is empty, and a better place for a mill you’ll never find.”
There was a general shout in favour of the coach-house, and those who were nearest the door began to slip through, in the hope of scouring22 the best places.  My stout23 neighbour, Bill Warr, pulled Harrison to one side.
“I’d stop it if I were you,” he whispered.
“I would if I could.  It’s no wish of mine that he should fight.  But there’s no turning him when once his mind is made up.”  All his own fights put together had never reduced the pugilist to such a state of agitation24.
“Wait on ’im yourself, then, and chuck up the sponge when things begin to go wrong.  You know Joe Berks’s record?”
“He’s since my time.”
“Well, ’e’s a terror, that’s all.  It’s only Belcher that can master ’im.  You see the man for yourself, six foot, fourteen stone, and full of the devil.  Belcher’s beat ’im twice, but the second time ’e ’ad all ’is work to do it.”
“Well, well, we’ve got to go through with it.  You’ve not seen Boy Jim put his mawleys up, or maybe you’d think better of his chances.  When he was short of sixteen he licked the Cock of the South Downs, and he’s come on a long way since then.”
The company was swarming25 through the door and clattering26 down the stair, so we followed in the stream.  A fine rain was falling, and the yellow lights from the windows glistened27 upon the wet cobblestones of the yard.  How welcome was that breath of sweet, damp air after the fetid atmosphere of the supper-room.  At the other end of the yard was an open door sharply outlined by the gleam of lanterns within, and through this they poured, amateurs and fighting-men jostling each other in their eagerness to get to the front.  For my own part, being a smallish man, I should have seen nothing had I not found an upturned bucket in a corner, upon which I perched myself with the wall at my back.
It was a large room with a wooden floor and an open square in the ceiling, which was fringed with the heads of the ostlers and stable boys who were looking down from the harness-room above.  A carriage-lamp was slung28 in each corner, and a very large stable-lantern hung from a rafter in the centre.  A coil of rope had been brought in, and under the direction of Jackson four men had been stationed to hold it.
“What space do you give them?” asked my uncle.
“Twenty-four, as they are both big ones, sir.”
“Very good, and half-minutes between rounds, I suppose?  I’ll umpire if Sir Lothian Hume will do the same, and you can hold the watch and referee29, Jackson.”
With great speed and exactness every preparation was rapidly made by these experienced men.  Mendoza and Dutch Sam were commissioned to attend to Berks, while Belcher and Jack3 Harrison did the same for Boy Jim.  Sponges, towels, and some brandy in a bladder were passed over the heads of the crowd for the use of the seconds.
“Here’s our man,” cried Belcher.  “Come along, Berks, or we’ll go to fetch you.”
Jim appeared in the ring stripped to the waist, with a coloured handkerchief tied round his middle.  A shout of admiration came from the spectators as they looked upon the fine lines of his figure, and I found myself roaring with the rest.  His shoulders were sloping rather than bulky, and his chest was deep rather than broad, but the muscle was all in the right place, rippling30 down in long, low curves from neck to shoulder, and from shoulder to elbow.  His work at the anvil31 had developed his arms to their utmost, and his healthy country living gave a sleek32 gloss33 to his ivory skin, which shone in the lamplight.  His expression was full of spirit and confidence, and he wore a grim sort of half-smile which I had seen many a time in our boyhood, and which meant, I knew, that his pride had set iron hard, and that his senses would fail him long before his courage.
Joe Berks in the meanwhile had swaggered in and stood with folded arms between his seconds in the opposite corner.  His face had none of the eager alertness of his opponent, and his skin, of a dead white, with heavy folds about the chest and ribs34, showed, even to my inexperienced eyes, that he was not a man who should fight without training.  A life of toping and ease had left him flabby and gross.  On the other hand, he was famous for his mettle35 and for his hitting power, so that, even in the face of the advantages of youth and condition, the betting was three to one in his favour.  His heavy-jowled, clean-shaven face expressed ferocity as well as courage, and he stood with his small, blood-shot eyes fixed36 viciously upon Jim, and his lumpy shoulders stooping a little forwards, like a fierce hound training on a leash37.
The hubbub38 of the betting had risen until it drowned all other sounds, men shouting their opinions from one side of the coach-house to the other, and waving their hands to attract attention, or as a sign that they had accepted a wager39.  Sir John Lade, standing40 just in front of me, was roaring out the odds41 against Jim, and laying them freely with those who fancied the appearance of the unknown.
“I’ve seen Berks fight,” said he to the Honourable42 Berkeley Craven.  “No country hawbuck is going to knock out a man with such a record.”
“He may be a country hawbuck,” the other answered, “but I have been reckoned a judge of anything either on two legs or four, and I tell you, Sir John, that I never saw a man who looked better bred in my life.  Are you still laying against him?”
“Three to one.”
“Have you once in hundreds.”
“Very good, Craven!  There they go!  Berks!  Berks!  Bravo!  Berks!  Bravo!  I think, Craven, that I shall trouble you for that hundred.”
The two men had stood up to each other, Jim as light upon his feet as a goat, with his left well out and his right thrown across the lower part of his chest, while Berks held both arms half extended and his feet almost level, so that he might lead off with either side.  For an instant they looked each other over, and then Berks, ducking his head and rushing in with a handover-hand style of hitting, bored Jim down into his corner.  It was a backward slip rather than a knockdown, but a thin trickle43 of blood was seen at the corner of Jim’s mouth.  In an instant the seconds had seized their men and carried them back into their corners.
“Do you mind doubling our bet?” said Berkeley Craven, who was craning his neck to get a glimpse of Jim.
“Four to one on Berks!  Four to one on Berks!” cried the ringsiders.
“The odds have gone up, you see.  Will you have four to one in hundreds?”
“Very good, Sir John.”
“You seem to fancy him more for having been knocked down.”
“He was pushed down, but he stopped every blow, and I liked the look on his face as he got up again.”
“Well, it’s the old stager for me.  Here they come again!  He’s got a pretty style, and he covers his points well, but it isn’t the best looking that wins.”
They were at it again, and I was jumping about upon my bucket in my excitement.  It was evident that Berks meant to finish the battle off-hand, whilst Jim, with two of the most experienced men in England to advise him, was quite aware that his correct tactics were to allow the ruffian to expend44 his strength and wind in vain.  There was something horrible in the ferocious45 energy of Berks’s hitting, every blow fetching a grunt46 from him as he smashed it in, and after each I gazed at Jim, as I have gazed at a stranded47 vessel48 upon the Sussex beach when wave after wave has roared over it, fearing each time that I should find it miserably49 mangled50.  But still the lamplight shone upon the lad’s clear, alert face, upon his well-opened eyes and his firm-set mouth, while the blows were taken upon his forearm or allowed, by a quick duck of the head, to whistle over his shoulder.  But Berks was artful as well as violent.  Gradually he worked Jim back into an angle of the ropes from which there was no escape, and then, when he had him fairly penned, he sprang upon him like a tiger.  What happened was so quick that I cannot set its sequence down in words, but I saw Jim make a quick stoop under the swinging arms, and at the same instant I heard a sharp, ringing smack51, and there was Jim dancing about in the middle of the ring, and Berks lying upon his side on the floor, with his hand to his eye.
How they roared!  Prize-fighters, Corinthians, Prince, stable-boy, and landlord were all shouting at the top of their lungs.  Old Buckhorse was skipping about on a box beside me, shrieking52 out criticisms and advice in strange, obsolete53 ring-jargon, which no one could understand.  His dull eyes were shining, his parchment face was quivering with excitement, and his strange musical call rang out above all the hubbub.  The two men were hurried to their corners, one second sponging them down and the other flapping a towel in front of their face; whilst they, with arms hanging down and legs extended, tried to draw all the air they could into their lungs in the brief space allowed them.
“Where’s your country hawbuck now?” cried Craven, triumphantly54.  “Did ever you witness anything more masterly?”
“He’s no Johnny Raw, certainly,” said Sir John, shaking his head.  “What odds are you giving on Berks, Lord Sole?”
“Two to one.”
“I take you twice in hundreds.”
“Here’s Sir John Lade hedging!” cried my uncle, smiling back at us over his shoulder.
“Time!” said Jackson, and the two men sprang forward to the mark again.
This round was a good deal shorter than that which had preceded it.  Berks’s orders evidently were to close at any cost, and so make use of his extra weight and strength before the superior condition of his antagonist55 could have time to tell.  On the other hand, Jim, after his experience in the last round, was less disposed to make any great exertion56 to keep him at arms’ length.  He led at Berks’s head, as he came rushing in, and missed him, receiving a severe body blow in return, which left the imprint57 of four angry knuckles58 above his ribs.  As they closed Jim caught his opponent’s bullet head under his arm for an instant, and put a couple of half-arm blows in; but the prize-fighter pulled him over by his weight, and the two fell panting side by side upon the ground.  Jim sprang up, however, and walked over to his corner, while Berks, distressed59 by his evening’s dissipation, leaned one arm upon Mendoza and the other upon Dutch Sam as he made for his seat.
“Bellows to mend!” cried Jem Belcher.  “Where’s the four to one now?”
“Give us time to get the lid off our pepper-box,” said Mendoza.  “We mean to make a night of it.”
“Looks like it,” said Jack Harrison.  “He’s shut one of his eyes already.  Even money that my boy wins it!”
“How much?” asked several voices.
“Two pound four and threepence,” cried Harrison, counting out all his worldly wealth.
“Time!” said Jackson once more.
They were both at the mark in an instant, Jim as full of sprightly60 confidence as ever, and Berks with a fixed grin upon his bull-dog face and a most vicious gleam in the only eye which was of use to him.  His half-minute had not enabled him to recover his breath, and his huge, hairy chest was rising and falling with a quick, loud panting like a spent hound.  “Go in, boy!  Bustle61 him!” roared Harrison and Belcher.  “Get your wind, Joe; get your wind!” cried the Jews.  So now we had a reversal of tactics, for it was Jim who went in to hit with all the vigour62 of his young strength and unimpaired energy, while it was the savage63 Berks who was paying his debt to Nature for the many injuries which he had done her.  He gasped, he gurgled, his face grew purple in his attempts to get his breath, while with his long left arm extended and his right thrown across, he tried to screen himself from the attack of his wiry antagonist.  “drop when he hits!” cried Mendoza.  “drop and have a rest!”
But there was no shyness or shiftiness about Berks’s fighting.  He was always a gallant64 ruffian, who disdained65 to go down before an antagonist as long as his legs would sustain him.  He propped66 Jim off with his long arm, and though the lad sprang lightly round him looking for an opening, he was held off as if a forty-inch bar of iron were between them.  Every instant now was in favour of Berks, and already his breathing was easier and the bluish tinge67 fading from his face.  Jim knew that his chance of a speedy victory was slipping away from him, and he came back again and again as swift as a flash to the attack without being able to get past the passive defence of the trained fighting-man.  It was at such a moment that ringcraft was needed, and luckily for Jim two masters of it were at his back.
“Get your left on his mark, boy,” they shouted, “then go to his head with the right.”
Jim heard and acted on the instant.  Plunk! came his left just where his antagonist’s ribs curved from his breast-bone.  The force of the blow was half broken by Berks’s elbow, but it served its purpose of bringing forward his head.  Spank68! went the right, with the clear, crisp sound of two billiard balls clapping together, and Berks reeled, flung up his arms, spun69 round, and fell in a huge, fleshy heap upon the floor.  His seconds were on him instantly, and propped him up in a sitting position, his head rolling helplessly from one shoulder to the other, and finally toppling backwards70 with his chin pointed71 to the ceiling.  Dutch Sam thrust the brandy-bladder between his teeth, while Mendoza shook him savagely72 and howled insults in his ear, but neither the spirits nor the sense of injury could break into that serene73 insensibility.  “Time!” was duly called, and the Jews, seeing that the affair was over, let their man’s head fall back with a crack upon the floor, and there he lay, his huge arms and legs asprawl, whilst the Corinthians and fighting-men crowded past him to shake the hand of his conqueror74.
For my part, I tried also to press through the throng75, but it was no easy task for one of the smallest and weakest men in the room.  On all sides of me I heard a brisk discussion from amateurs and professionals of Jim’s performance and of his prospects76.
“He’s the best bit of new stuff that I’ve seen since Jem Belcher fought his first fight with Paddington Jones at Wormwood Scrubbs four years ago last April,” said Berkeley Craven.  “You’ll see him with the belt round his waist before he’s five-and-twenty, or I am no judge of a man.”
“That handsome face of his has cost me a cool five hundred,” grumbled77 Sir John Lade.  “Who’d have thought he was such a punishing hitter?”
“For all that,” said another, “I am confident that if Joe Berks had been sober he would have eaten him.  Besides, the lad was in training, and the other would burst like an overdone78 potato if he were hit.  I never saw a man so soft, or with his wind in such condition.  Put the men in training, and it’s a horse to a hen on the bruiser.”
Some agreed with the last speaker and some were against him, so that a brisk argument was being carried on around me.  In the midst of it the Prince took his departure, which was the signal for the greater part of the company to make for the door.  In this way I was able at last to reach the corner where Jim had just finished his dressing79, while Champion Harrison, with tears of joy still shining upon his cheeks, was helping80 him on with his overcoat.
“In four rounds!” he kept repeating in a sort of an ecstasy81.  “Joe Berks in four rounds!  And it took Jem Belcher fourteen!”
“Well, Roddy,” cried Jim, holding out his hand, “I told you that I would come to London and make my name known.”
“It was splendid, Jim!”
“Dear old Roddy!  I saw your white face staring at me from the corner.  You are not changed, for all your grand clothes and your London friends.”
“It is you who are changed, Jim,” said I; “I hardly knew you when you came into the room.”
“Nor I,” cried the smith.  “Where got you all these fine feathers, Jim?  Sure I am that it was not your aunt who helped you to the first step towards the prize-ring.”
“Miss Hinton has been my friend—the best friend I ever had.”
“Humph!  I thought as much,” grumbled the smith.  “Well, it is no doing of mine, Jim, and you must bear witness to that when we go home again.  I don’t know what—but, there, it is done, and it can’t be helped.  After all, she’s—Now, the deuce take my clumsy tongue!”
I could not tell whether it was the wine which he had taken at supper or the excitement of Boy Jim’s victory which was affecting Harrison, but his usually placid82 face wore a most disturbed expression, and his manner seemed to betray an alternation of exultation83 and embarrassment84.  Jim looked curiously85 at him, wondering evidently what it was that lay behind these abrupt86 sentences and sudden silences.  The coach-house had in the mean time been cleared; Berks with many curses had staggered at last to his feet, and had gone off in company with two other bruisers, while Jem Belcher alone remained chatting very earnestly with my uncle.
“Very good, Belcher,” I heard my uncle say.
“It would be a real pleasure to me to do it, sir,” and the famous prize-fighter, as the two walked towards us.
“I wished to ask you, Jim Harrison, whether you would undertake to be my champion in the fight against Crab87 Wilson of Gloucester?” said my uncle.
“That is what I want, Sir Charles—to have a chance of fighting my way upwards.”
“There are heavy stakes upon the event—very heavy stakes,” said my uncle.  “You will receive two hundred pounds, if you win.  Does that satisfy you?”
“I shall fight for the honour, and because I wish to be thought worthy88 of being matched against Jem Belcher.”
Belcher laughed good-humouredly.
“You are going the right way about it, lad,” said he.  “But you had a soft thing on to-night with a drunken man who was out of condition.”
“I did not wish to fight him,” said Jim, flushing.
“Oh, I know you have spirit enough to fight anything on two legs.  I knew that the instant I clapped eyes on you; but I want you to remember that when you fight Crab Wilson, you will fight the most promising89 man from the west, and that the best man of the west is likely to be the best man in England.  He’s as quick and as long in the reach as you are, and he’ll train himself to the last half-ounce of tallow.  I tell you this now, d’ye see, because if I’m to have the charge of you—”
“Charge of me!”
“Yes,” said my uncle.  “Belcher has consented to train you for the coming battle if you are willing to enter.”
“I am sure I am very much obliged to you,” cried Jim, heartily90.  “Unless my uncle should wish to train me, there is no one I would rather have.”
“Nay, Jim; I’ll stay with you a few days, but Belcher knows a deal more about training than I do.  Where will the quarters be?”
“I thought it would be handy for you if we fixed it at the George, at Crawley.  Then, if we have choice of place, we might choose Crawley Down, for, except Molesey Hurst, and, maybe, Smitham Bottom, there isn’t a spot in the country that would compare with it for a mill.  Do you agree with that?”
“With all my heart,” said Jim.
“Then you’re my man from this hour on, d’ye see?” said Belcher.  “Your food is mine, and your drink is mine, and your sleep is mine, and all you’ve to do is just what you are told.  We haven’t an hour to lose, for Wilson has been in half-training this month back.  You saw his empty glass to-night.”
“Jim’s fit to fight for his life at the present moment,” said Harrison.  “But we’ll both come down to Crawley to-morrow.  So good night, Sir Charles.”
“Good night, Roddy,” said Jim.  “You’ll come down to Crawley and see me at my training quarters, will you not?”
And I heartily promised that I would.
“You must be more careful, nephew,” said my uncle, as we rattled91 home in his model vis-à-vis.  “En première jeunesse one is a little inclined to be ruled by one’s heart rather than by one’s reason.  Jim Harrison seems to be a most respectable young fellow, but after all he is a blacksmith’s apprentice92, and a candidate for the prize-ring.  There is a vast gap between his position and that of my own blood relation, and you must let him feel that you are his superior.”
“He is the oldest and dearest friend that I have in the world, sir,” I answered.  “We were boys together, and have never had a secret from each other.  As to showing him that I am his superior, I don’t know how I can do that, for I know very well that he is mine.”
“Hum!” said my uncle, drily, and it was the last word that he addressed to me that night.


1 curt omjyx     
  • He gave me an extremely curt answer.他对我作了极为草率的答复。
  • He rapped out a series of curt commands.他大声发出了一连串简短的命令。
2 cove 9Y8zA     
  • The shore line is wooded,olive-green,a pristine cove.岸边一带林木蓊郁,嫩绿一片,好一个山外的小海湾。
  • I saw two children were playing in a cove.我看到两个小孩正在一个小海湾里玩耍。
3 jack 53Hxp     
  • I am looking for the headphone jack.我正在找寻头戴式耳机插孔。
  • He lifted the car with a jack to change the flat tyre.他用千斤顶把车顶起来换下瘪轮胎。
4 upwards lj5wR     
  • The trend of prices is still upwards.物价的趋向是仍在上涨。
  • The smoke rose straight upwards.烟一直向上升。
5 hoarse 5dqzA     
  • He asked me a question in a hoarse voice.他用嘶哑的声音问了我一个问题。
  • He was too excited and roared himself hoarse.他过于激动,嗓子都喊哑了。
6 condescend np7zo     
  • Would you condescend to accompany me?你肯屈尊陪我吗?
  • He did not condescend to answer.He turned his back on me.他不愿屈尊回答我的问题。他不理睬我。
7 glazed 3sLzT8     
adj.光滑的,像玻璃的;上过釉的;呆滞无神的v.装玻璃( glaze的过去式);上釉于,上光;(目光)变得呆滞无神
  • eyes glazed with boredom 厌倦无神的眼睛
  • His eyes glazed over at the sight of her. 看到她时,他的目光就变得呆滞。 来自《简明英汉词典》
8 gorged ccb1b7836275026e67373c02e756e79c     
v.(用食物把自己)塞饱,填饱( gorge的过去式和过去分词 );作呕
  • He gorged himself at the party. 在宴会上他狼吞虎咽地把自己塞饱。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • The men, gorged with food, had unbuttoned their vests. 那些男人,吃得直打饱嗝,解开了背心的钮扣。 来自辞典例句
9 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》
10 concurrence InAyF     
  • There is a concurrence of opinion between them.他们的想法一致。
  • The concurrence of their disappearances had to be more than coincidental.他们同时失踪肯定不仅仅是巧合。
11 glut rflxv     
  • The glut of coffee led to a sharp drop in prices.咖啡供过于求道致价格急剧下跌。
  • There's a glut of agricultural products in Western Europe.西欧的农产品供过于求。
12 doorway 2s0xK     
  • They huddled in the shop doorway to shelter from the rain.他们挤在商店门口躲雨。
  • Mary suddenly appeared in the doorway.玛丽突然出现在门口。
13 gasped e6af294d8a7477229d6749fa9e8f5b80     
v.喘气( gasp的过去式和过去分词 );喘息;倒抽气;很想要
  • She gasped at the wonderful view. 如此美景使她惊讶得屏住了呼吸。
  • People gasped with admiration at the superb skill of the gymnasts. 体操运动员的高超技艺令人赞叹。 来自《现代汉英综合大词典》
14 admiration afpyA     
  • He was lost in admiration of the beauty of the scene.他对风景之美赞不绝口。
  • We have a great admiration for the gold medalists.我们对金牌获得者极为敬佩。
15 distress 3llzX     
  • Nothing could alleviate his distress.什么都不能减轻他的痛苦。
  • Please don't distress yourself.请你不要忧愁了。
16 shrugged 497904474a48f991a3d1961b0476ebce     
  • Sam shrugged and said nothing. 萨姆耸耸肩膀,什么也没说。
  • She shrugged, feigning nonchalance. 她耸耸肩,装出一副无所谓的样子。 来自《简明英汉词典》
17 opposition eIUxU     
  • The party leader is facing opposition in his own backyard.该党领袖在自己的党內遇到了反对。
  • The police tried to break down the prisoner's opposition.警察设法制住了那个囚犯的反抗。
18 withdrawn eeczDJ     
  • Our force has been withdrawn from the danger area.我们的军队已从危险地区撤出。
  • All foreign troops should be withdrawn to their own countries.一切外国军队都应撤回本国去。
19 stolid VGFzC     
  • Her face showed nothing but stolid indifference.她的脸上毫无表情,只有麻木的无动于衷。
  • He conceals his feelings behind a rather stolid manner.他装作无动于衷的样子以掩盖自己的感情。
20 murmur EjtyD     
  • They paid the extra taxes without a murmur.他们毫无怨言地交了附加税。
  • There was a low murmur of conversation in the hall.大厅里有窃窃私语声。
21 lithe m0Ix9     
  • His lithe athlete's body had been his pride through most of the fifty - six years.他那轻巧自如的运动员体格,五十六年来几乎一直使他感到自豪。
  • His walk was lithe and graceful.他走路轻盈而优雅。
22 scouring 02d824effe8b78d21ec133da3651c677     
  • The police are scouring the countryside for the escaped prisoners. 警察正在搜索整个乡村以捉拿逃犯。
  • This is called the scouring train in wool processing. 这被称为羊毛加工中的洗涤系列。
24 agitation TN0zi     
  • Small shopkeepers carried on a long agitation against the big department stores.小店主们长期以来一直在煽动人们反对大型百货商店。
  • These materials require constant agitation to keep them in suspension.这些药剂要经常搅动以保持悬浮状态。
25 swarming db600a2d08b872102efc8fbe05f047f9     
密集( swarm的现在分词 ); 云集; 成群地移动; 蜜蜂或其他飞行昆虫成群地飞来飞去
  • The sacks of rice were swarming with bugs. 一袋袋的米里长满了虫子。
  • The beach is swarming with bathers. 海滩满是海水浴的人。
26 clattering f876829075e287eeb8e4dc1cb4972cc5     
  • Typewriters keep clattering away. 打字机在不停地嗒嗒作响。
  • The typewriter was clattering away. 打字机啪嗒啪嗒地响着。
27 glistened 17ff939f38e2a303f5df0353cf21b300     
v.湿物闪耀,闪亮( glisten的过去式和过去分词 )
  • Pearls of dew glistened on the grass. 草地上珠露晶莹。 来自《现代汉英综合大词典》
  • Her eyes glistened with tears. 她的眼里闪着泪花。 来自《现代汉英综合大词典》
28 slung slung     
抛( sling的过去式和过去分词 ); 吊挂; 遣送; 押往
  • He slung the bag over his shoulder. 他把包一甩,挎在肩上。
  • He stood up and slung his gun over his shoulder. 他站起来把枪往肩上一背。
29 referee lAqzU     
  • The team was left raging at the referee's decision.队员们对裁判员的裁决感到非常气愤。
  • The referee blew a whistle at the end of the game.裁判在比赛结束时吹响了哨子。
30 rippling b84b2d05914b2749622963c1ef058ed5     
  • I could see the dawn breeze rippling the shining water. 我能看见黎明的微风在波光粼粼的水面上吹出道道涟漪。
  • The pool rippling was caused by the waving of the reeds. 池塘里的潺潺声是芦苇摇动时引起的。
31 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。
32 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。
33 gloss gloss     
  • John tried in vain to gloss over his faults.约翰极力想掩饰自己的缺点,但是没有用。
  • She rubbed up the silver plates to a high gloss.她把银盘擦得很亮。
34 ribs 24fc137444401001077773555802b280     
n.肋骨( rib的名词复数 );(船或屋顶等的)肋拱;肋骨状的东西;(织物的)凸条花纹
  • He suffered cracked ribs and bruising. 他断了肋骨还有挫伤。
  • Make a small incision below the ribs. 在肋骨下方切开一个小口。
35 mettle F1Jyv     
  • When the seas are in turmoil,heroes are on their mettle.沧海横流,方显出英雄本色。
  • Each and every one of these soldiers has proved his mettle.这些战士个个都是好样的。
36 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。
37 leash M9rz1     
  • I reached for the leash,but the dog got in between.我伸手去拿系狗绳,但被狗挡住了路。
  • The dog strains at the leash,eager to be off.狗拼命地扯拉皮带,想挣脱开去。
38 hubbub uQizN     
  • The hubbub of voices drowned out the host's voice.嘈杂的声音淹没了主人的声音。
  • He concentrated on the work in hand,and the hubbub outside the room simply flowed over him.他埋头于手头的工作,室外的吵闹声他简直象没有听见一般。
39 wager IH2yT     
  • They laid a wager on the result of the race.他们以竞赛的结果打赌。
  • I made a wager that our team would win.我打赌我们的队会赢。
40 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。
41 odds n5czT     
  • The odds are 5 to 1 that she will win.她获胜的机会是五比一。
  • Do you know the odds of winning the lottery once?你知道赢得一次彩票的几率多大吗?
42 honourable honourable     
  • I don't think I am worthy of such an honourable title.这样的光荣称号,我可担当不起。
  • I hope to find an honourable way of settling difficulties.我希望设法找到一个体面的办法以摆脱困境。
43 trickle zm2w8     
  • The stream has thinned down to a mere trickle.这条小河变成细流了。
  • The flood of cars has now slowed to a trickle.汹涌的车流现在已经变得稀稀拉拉。
44 expend Fmwx6     
  • Don't expend all your time on such a useless job.不要把时间消耗在这种无用的工作上。
  • They expend all their strength in trying to climb out.他们费尽全力想爬出来。
45 ferocious ZkNxc     
  • The ferocious winds seemed about to tear the ship to pieces.狂风仿佛要把船撕成碎片似的。
  • The ferocious panther is chasing a rabbit.那只凶猛的豹子正追赶一只兔子。
46 grunt eeazI     
  • He lifted the heavy suitcase with a grunt.他咕噜着把沉重的提箱拎了起来。
  • I ask him what he think,but he just grunt.我问他在想什麽,他只哼了一声。
47 stranded thfz18     
  • He was stranded in a strange city without money. 他流落在一个陌生的城市里, 身无分文,一筹莫展。
  • I was stranded in the strange town without money or friends. 我困在那陌生的城市,既没有钱,又没有朋友。
48 vessel 4L1zi     
  • The vessel is fully loaded with cargo for Shanghai.这艘船满载货物驶往上海。
  • You should put the water into a vessel.你应该把水装入容器中。
49 miserably zDtxL     
  • The little girl was wailing miserably. 那小女孩难过得号啕大哭。
  • It was drizzling, and miserably cold and damp. 外面下着毛毛细雨,天气又冷又湿,令人难受。 来自《简明英汉词典》
50 mangled c6ddad2d2b989a3ee0c19033d9ef021b     
  • His hand was mangled in the machine. 他的手卷到机器里轧烂了。
  • He was off work because he'd mangled his hand in a machine. 他没上班,因为他的手给机器严重压伤了。 来自《简明英汉词典》
51 smack XEqzV     
  • She gave him a smack on the face.她打了他一个嘴巴。
  • I gave the fly a smack with the magazine.我用杂志拍了一下苍蝇。
52 shrieking abc59c5a22d7db02751db32b27b25dbb     
v.尖叫( shriek的现在分词 )
  • The boxers were goaded on by the shrieking crowd. 拳击运动员听见观众的喊叫就来劲儿了。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • They were all shrieking with laughter. 他们都发出了尖锐的笑声。 来自《简明英汉词典》
53 obsolete T5YzH     
  • These goods are obsolete and will not fetch much on the market.这些货品过时了,在市场上卖不了高价。
  • They tried to hammer obsolete ideas into the young people's heads.他们竭力把陈旧思想灌输给青年。
54 triumphantly 9fhzuv     
  • The lion was roaring triumphantly. 狮子正在发出胜利的吼叫。
  • Robert was looking at me triumphantly. 罗伯特正得意扬扬地看着我。
55 antagonist vwXzM     
  • His antagonist in the debate was quicker than he.在辩论中他的对手比他反应快。
  • The thing is to know the nature of your antagonist.要紧的是要了解你的对手的特性。
56 exertion F7Fyi     
  • We were sweating profusely from the exertion of moving the furniture.我们搬动家具大费气力,累得大汗淋漓。
  • She was hot and breathless from the exertion of cycling uphill.由于用力骑车爬坡,她浑身发热。
57 imprint Zc6zO     
  • That dictionary is published under the Longman imprint.那本词典以朗曼公司的名义出版。
  • Her speech left its imprint on me.她的演讲给我留下了深刻印象。
58 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》
59 distressed du1z3y     
  • He was too distressed and confused to answer their questions. 他非常苦恼而困惑,无法回答他们的问题。
  • The news of his death distressed us greatly. 他逝世的消息使我们极为悲痛。
60 sprightly 4GQzv     
  • She is as sprightly as a woman half her age.她跟比她年轻一半的妇女一样活泼。
  • He's surprisingly sprightly for an old man.他这把年纪了,还这么精神,真了不起。
61 bustle esazC     
  • The bustle and din gradually faded to silence as night advanced.随着夜越来越深,喧闹声逐渐沉寂。
  • There is a lot of hustle and bustle in the railway station.火车站里非常拥挤。
62 vigour lhtwr     
  • She is full of vigour and enthusiasm.她有热情,有朝气。
  • At 40,he was in his prime and full of vigour.他40岁时正年富力强。
63 savage ECxzR     
  • The poor man received a savage beating from the thugs.那可怜的人遭到暴徒的痛打。
  • He has a savage temper.他脾气粗暴。
64 gallant 66Myb     
  • Huang Jiguang's gallant deed is known by all men. 黄继光的英勇事迹尽人皆知。
  • These gallant soldiers will protect our country.这些勇敢的士兵会保卫我们的国家的。
65 disdained d5a61f4ef58e982cb206e243a1d9c102     
鄙视( disdain的过去式和过去分词 ); 不屑于做,不愿意做
  • I disdained to answer his rude remarks. 我不屑回答他的粗话。
  • Jackie disdained the servants that her millions could buy. 杰姬鄙视那些她用钱就可以收买的奴仆。
66 propped 557c00b5b2517b407d1d2ef6ba321b0e     
支撑,支持,维持( prop的过去式和过去分词 )
  • He sat propped up in the bed by pillows. 他靠着枕头坐在床上。
  • This fence should be propped up. 这栅栏该用东西支一支。
67 tinge 8q9yO     
  • The maple leaves are tinge with autumn red.枫叶染上了秋天的红色。
  • There was a tinge of sadness in her voice.她声音中流露出一丝忧伤。
68 spank NFFzE     
  • Be careful.If you don't work hard,I'll spank your bottom.你再不好好学习,小心被打屁股。
  • He does it very often.I really get mad.I can't help spank him sometimes.他经常这样做。我很气愤。有时候我忍不住打他的屁股。
69 spun kvjwT     
  • His grandmother spun him a yarn at the fire.他奶奶在火炉边给他讲故事。
  • Her skilful fingers spun the wool out to a fine thread.她那灵巧的手指把羊毛纺成了细毛线。
70 backwards BP9ya     
  • He turned on the light and began to pace backwards and forwards.他打开电灯并开始走来走去。
  • All the girls fell over backwards to get the party ready.姑娘们迫不及待地为聚会做准备。
71 pointed Il8zB4     
  • He gave me a very sharp pointed pencil.他给我一支削得非常尖的铅笔。
  • She wished to show Mrs.John Dashwood by this pointed invitation to her brother.她想通过对达茨伍德夫人提出直截了当的邀请向她的哥哥表示出来。
72 savagely 902f52b3c682f478ddd5202b40afefb9     
adv. 野蛮地,残酷地
  • The roses had been pruned back savagely. 玫瑰被狠狠地修剪了一番。
  • He snarled savagely at her. 他向她狂吼起来。
73 serene PD2zZ     
adj. 安详的,宁静的,平静的
  • He has entered the serene autumn of his life.他已进入了美好的中年时期。
  • He didn't speak much,he just smiled with that serene smile of his.他话不多,只是脸上露出他招牌式的淡定的微笑。
74 conqueror PY3yI     
  • We shall never yield to a conqueror.我们永远不会向征服者低头。
  • They abandoned the city to the conqueror.他们把那个城市丢弃给征服者。
75 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。
76 prospects fkVzpY     
  • There is a mood of pessimism in the company about future job prospects. 公司中有一种对工作前景悲观的情绪。
  • They are less sanguine about the company's long-term prospects. 他们对公司的远景不那么乐观。
77 grumbled ed735a7f7af37489d7db1a9ef3b64f91     
抱怨( grumble的过去式和过去分词 ); 发牢骚; 咕哝; 发哼声
  • He grumbled at the low pay offered to him. 他抱怨给他的工资低。
  • The heat was sweltering, and the men grumbled fiercely over their work. 天热得让人发昏,水手们边干活边发着牢骚。
78 overdone 54a8692d591ace3339fb763b91574b53     
v.做得过分( overdo的过去分词 );太夸张;把…煮得太久;(工作等)过度
  • The lust of men must not be overdone. 人们的欲望不该过分。 来自《现代汉英综合大词典》
  • The joke is overdone. 玩笑开得过火。 来自《现代英汉综合大词典》
79 dressing 1uOzJG     
  • Don't spend such a lot of time in dressing yourself.别花那么多时间来打扮自己。
  • The children enjoy dressing up in mother's old clothes.孩子们喜欢穿上妈妈旧时的衣服玩。
80 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。
81 ecstasy 9kJzY     
  • He listened to the music with ecstasy.他听音乐听得入了神。
  • Speechless with ecstasy,the little boys gazed at the toys.小孩注视着那些玩具,高兴得说不出话来。
82 placid 7A1yV     
  • He had been leading a placid life for the past eight years.八年来他一直过着平静的生活。
  • You should be in a placid mood and have a heart-to- heart talk with her.你应该心平气和的好好和她谈谈心。
83 exultation wzeyn     
  • It made him catch his breath, it lit his face with exultation. 听了这个名字,他屏住呼吸,乐得脸上放光。
  • He could get up no exultation that was really worthy the name. 他一点都激动不起来。
84 embarrassment fj9z8     
  • She could have died away with embarrassment.她窘迫得要死。
  • Coughing at a concert can be a real embarrassment.在音乐会上咳嗽真会使人难堪。
85 curiously 3v0zIc     
  • He looked curiously at the people.他好奇地看着那些人。
  • He took long stealthy strides. His hands were curiously cold.他迈着悄没声息的大步。他的双手出奇地冷。
86 abrupt 2fdyh     
  • The river takes an abrupt bend to the west.这河突然向西转弯。
  • His abrupt reply hurt our feelings.他粗鲁的回答伤了我们的感情。
87 crab xoozE     
  • I can't remember when I last had crab.我不记得上次吃蟹是什么时候了。
  • The skin on my face felt as hard as a crab's back.我脸上的皮仿佛僵硬了,就象螃蟹的壳似的。
88 worthy vftwB     
  • I did not esteem him to be worthy of trust.我认为他不值得信赖。
  • There occurred nothing that was worthy to be mentioned.没有值得一提的事发生。
89 promising BkQzsk     
  • The results of the experiments are very promising.实验的结果充满了希望。
  • We're trying to bring along one or two promising young swimmers.我们正设法培养出一两名有前途的年轻游泳选手。
90 heartily Ld3xp     
  • He ate heartily and went out to look for his horse.他痛快地吃了一顿,就出去找他的马。
  • The host seized my hand and shook it heartily.主人抓住我的手,热情地和我握手。
91 rattled b4606e4247aadf3467575ffedf66305b     
  • The truck jolted and rattled over the rough ground. 卡车嘎吱嘎吱地在凹凸不平的地面上颠簸而行。
  • Every time a bus went past, the windows rattled. 每逢公共汽车经过这里,窗户都格格作响。
92 apprentice 0vFzq     
  • My son is an apprentice in a furniture maker's workshop.我的儿子在一家家具厂做学徒。
  • The apprentice is not yet out of his time.这徒工还没有出徒。


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