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首页 » 经典英文小说 » Timid Lucy » CHAPTER III. THE MEDICINE.
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 The morning light streamed pleasantly into Lucy's pretty room, and there was the little girl quite dressed, and moving about as busily as Mrs. Maxwell herself. She had been up since the dew-drops began to sparkle in the sunlight. She could not make up her mind to confess her fault to her father or Mrs. Maxwell, but she was determined1 to be so very good as to quite make up for it. In the first place, she would put her room in order; that would please Mrs. Maxwell.
With a tremendous effort she turned her little bed, and then spread up the clothes with the greatest care. It was her first attempt in that way, and not very successful, but she was quite satisfied with it, and walked about surveying it as if it had been a masterpiece of housewifery.
The doctor was again at the breakfast-table, and he was pleased to see his little daughter looking so much more cheerful. Harty, as usual, was in excellent spirits; but his father's rebuke2 was still fresh in his mind, and he refrained from teasing his sister, and contented3 himself with telling funny stories about school occurrences, until even Mrs. Maxwell was forced to laugh.
As they rose from the table, Dr. Vale handed Lucy a small parcel, saying, "Take good care of this, my dear, and leave it at Mrs. Tappan's on your way to school; it is some medicine for her, which she will need at ten o'clock. I have a long ride to take in another direction, so good morning, my little mouse." Having kissed her affectionately, he jumped into his chaise, and was soon out of sight.
Lucy was unusually happy when she started for school; Harty had not teased her, Mrs. Maxwell had not found fault with her, and her father had trusted her with something to do for him.
The summer sky was clear above her, and her feet made not a sound as she tripped over the soft grass. The wild rose bushes offered her a sweet bouquet4, and she plucked a cluster of buds as she passed. In the pleasure of that bright morning, Lucy forgot her good resolutions. She did not think of her kind Heavenly Father while enjoying His beautiful world. Fear alone brought Him to her mind: she remembered Him in the storm, but forgot Him in the sunshine.
Lucy was soon at Mrs. Tappan's gate, and was raising the latch5, when the large house-dog came down the walk and stood directly in the way. She thought he looked very fierce, and did not dare to pass him. She walked on a short distance and then came back, hoping he would be gone; but no, he had not moved an inch. While she was doubting what to do, the school-bell rang; thrusting the parcel into her pocket, she hurried on, saying to herself, "As it is so late, I am sure father will not blame me."
She was hardly seated in school, however, before she began to be troubled about what she had done. "Perhaps Mrs. Tappan was very ill," she thought; the shutters6 were all closed, and her father had called there twice the day before, and had already seen her that morning. With such thoughts in her mind, of course Lucy did not learn her lesson; although she held the book in her hand, and seemed to have her eyes fixed7 upon it. When she was called up to recite, she blundered, hesitated, and utterly8 failed. The tears now filled her eyes. Glancing at the clock, she saw that it yet wanted a quarter of ten.
"Please, Miss Parker, may I go home?" she asked.
"Are you unwell?" asked the teacher, kindly9.
"No," murmured Lucy.
"Then go to your seat," said Miss Parker, a little sternly; "and never ask me again to let you go home unless you have a good reason."
"I wouldn't mind her, she's as cross as she can be," whispered Julia Staples10, as she took her seat at Lucy's side.
Lucy knew Miss Parker was not cross, yet she felt a little comforted by Julia's seeming interested in her trouble, and placed her hand in hers under the desk, as if to thank her new friend; for Julia Staples had seldom spoken to her before.
Wearily the hours of school passed away. At last the clock struck one, and the children were dismissed. Lucy was hurrying off, when Julia Staples called after her to wait, for she was going that way. Lucy did not like to be disobliging, and therefore stood still until her companion was quite ready.
"I hate school, don't you?" said Julia, as they walked along.
Now Lucy did not hate school, she generally found it very pleasant; but she thought it would seem childish to say so to a large girl like Julia Staples; so she answered, rather awkwardly, "Yes, I did not like it to-day."
"I can't bear Miss Parker," continued Julia, "she's so partial; I know you don't like her, from the way you looked at her this morning."
Lucy did like Miss Parker, for she had often drawn12 the little girl to her side, and spoken very tenderly to her, more tenderly than any one had done since her own mother's death, and she was therefore glad that they came that moment to the road which led to Julia's home, for there they must part.
"Good morning," said Julia, not waiting for an answer; "I shall call for you to-morrow," and Lucy went on her way alone. She had been almost led to speak unkindly of a person she really loved, because she was afraid to say boldly what was in her mind.
As she came in sight of Mrs. Tappan's quiet house, she saw her father coming out of the gate, looking thoughtfully on the ground. He did not see her, and she had to run very fast to overtake him before he got into his chaise.
"Father! dear father!" she said, "do stop a minute; is Mrs. Tappan very ill? Do not be angry with me, here is the medicine."
The doctor looked quite serious while Lucy told him of her fright in the morning, and her sorrow after she reached school at not having delivered the medicine. The dreaded13 dog was standing14 within the gate while they were talking without; the doctor called him and made Lucy look into his mild eye and pat him gently. "You see, my dear," said the father, as the hand of the little girl rested on the head of the quiet animal, "that you need not have been afraid of Rover. You should have remembered that in not delivering the medicine you might be doing more harm to another than the dog would have done to you. Even after you were at school, all might have been well if you had had the courage to tell the whole truth to your teacher; she would certainly have excused you. I cannot say what will be the consequence of your foolish timidity. Mrs. Tappan is very ill!"
As her father spoke11 these words, Lucy's tears fell fast. Not another syllable15 was spoken until they reached home. Harty came out to meet them, calling out to his sister, "Are those red eyes the sign of bad lessons?" She made him no reply, but hastened to her room to think on her own folly16, and poor Mrs. Tappan.
It was a long afternoon to the little girl; her dinner was sent to her, and she remained alone until dark. This was the day which had commenced so pleasantly, and in which Lucy had intended to please everybody. Alas17! the poor child had not asked God's help to enable her to do her duty, nor had she been faithful in her own exertions18.
When the tea-bell rang, she hastened down stairs, hoping to hear from her father good news about Mrs. Tappan, but he did not appear. Harty seeing his sister look so unhappy, forbore to tease her, and the meal passed over in silence. Eight o'clock came, and Mrs. Maxwell gave Lucy her light, and told her to go to bed. She did not dare to ask to sit up a little longer, for she knew the request would not be granted. Feeling like a criminal, the little girl went to her room—that pretty room, how many unhappy hours she had passed there! but none more wretched than on that evening.
In vain she tried to sleep. Whenever she closed her eyes, the form of the sick woman would rise before her, and she could almost fancy she heard her groans19. Nine o'clock struck, and ten, yet Lucy was awake. About eleven she heard the street-door open; then there was a careful step upon the stairs, and some one moved towards the doctor's room. She was out of bed in an instant, and hastening towards the door. It was locked as usual, and before she could open it, her father had passed. She almost flew along the passage, and sought his arm as he was entering his room. He clasped her to his breast and kissed her tenderly, saying at the same time, what she so much wished to hear, "Thank God, Mrs. Tappan is out of danger. You ought to be very grateful," he continued, "my dear child, that your fault has led to no evil; I trust that this will teach you not to let childish fears lead you to neglect your duty!" Much relieved she returned to her own room, but no thanks were uplifted from her young heart to Him who had been pleased to spare the stroke of death.


1 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。
2 rebuke 5Akz0     
v.指责,非难,斥责 [反]praise
  • He had to put up with a smart rebuke from the teacher.他不得不忍受老师的严厉指责。
  • Even one minute's lateness would earn a stern rebuke.哪怕迟到一分钟也将受到严厉的斥责。
3 contented Gvxzof     
  • He won't be contented until he's upset everyone in the office.不把办公室里的每个人弄得心烦意乱他就不会满足。
  • The people are making a good living and are contented,each in his station.人民安居乐业。
4 bouquet pWEzA     
  • This wine has a rich bouquet.这种葡萄酒有浓郁的香气。
  • Her wedding bouquet consisted of roses and ivy.她的婚礼花篮包括玫瑰和长春藤。
5 latch g2wxS     
  • She laid her hand on the latch of the door.她把手放在门闩上。
  • The repairman installed an iron latch on the door.修理工在门上安了铁门闩。
6 shutters 74d48a88b636ca064333022eb3458e1f     
百叶窗( shutter的名词复数 ); (照相机的)快门
  • The shop-front is fitted with rolling shutters. 那商店的店门装有卷门。
  • The shutters thumped the wall in the wind. 在风中百叶窗砰砰地碰在墙上。
7 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。
8 utterly ZfpzM1     
  • Utterly devoted to the people,he gave his life in saving his patients.他忠于人民,把毕生精力用于挽救患者的生命。
  • I was utterly ravished by the way she smiled.她的微笑使我完全陶醉了。
9 kindly tpUzhQ     
  • Her neighbours spoke of her as kindly and hospitable.她的邻居都说她和蔼可亲、热情好客。
  • A shadow passed over the kindly face of the old woman.一道阴影掠过老太太慈祥的面孔。
10 staples a4d18fc84a927940d1294e253001ce3d     
n.(某国的)主要产品( staple的名词复数 );钉书钉;U 形钉;主要部份v.用钉书钉钉住( staple的第三人称单数 )
  • The anvil onto which the staples are pressed was not assemble correctly. 订书机上的铁砧安装错位。 来自辞典例句
  • I'm trying to make an analysis of the staples of his talk. 我在试行分析他的谈话的要旨。 来自辞典例句
11 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。
12 drawn MuXzIi     
  • All the characters in the story are drawn from life.故事中的所有人物都取材于生活。
  • Her gaze was drawn irresistibly to the scene outside.她的目光禁不住被外面的风景所吸引。
13 dreaded XuNzI3     
adj.令人畏惧的;害怕的v.害怕,恐惧,担心( dread的过去式和过去分词)
  • The dreaded moment had finally arrived. 可怕的时刻终于来到了。
  • He dreaded having to spend Christmas in hospital. 他害怕非得在医院过圣诞节不可。 来自《用法词典》
14 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。
15 syllable QHezJ     
  • You put too much emphasis on the last syllable.你把最后一个音节读得太重。
  • The stress on the last syllable is light.最后一个音节是轻音节。
16 folly QgOzL     
  • Learn wisdom by the folly of others.从别人的愚蠢行动中学到智慧。
  • Events proved the folly of such calculations.事情的进展证明了这种估计是愚蠢的。
17 alas Rx8z1     
  • Alas!The window is broken!哎呀!窗子破了!
  • Alas,the truth is less romantic.然而,真理很少带有浪漫色彩。
18 exertions 2d5ee45020125fc19527a78af5191726     
n.努力( exertion的名词复数 );费力;(能力、权力等的)运用;行使
  • As long as they lived, exertions would not be necessary to her. 只要他们活着,是不需要她吃苦的。 来自辞典例句
  • She failed to unlock the safe in spite of all her exertions. 她虽然费尽力气,仍未能将那保险箱的锁打开。 来自辞典例句
19 groans 41bd40c1aa6a00b4445e6420ff52b6ad     
n.呻吟,叹息( groan的名词复数 );呻吟般的声音v.呻吟( groan的第三人称单数 );发牢骚;抱怨;受苦
  • There were loud groans when he started to sing. 他刚开始歌唱时有人发出了很大的嘘声。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • It was a weird old house, full of creaks and groans. 这是所神秘而可怕的旧宅,到处嘎吱嘎吱作响。 来自《简明英汉词典》


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