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Chapter 16
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What followed showed that Mrs. Strickland was a woman of character. Whatever anguish1 she suffered she concealed2. She saw shrewdly that the world is quickly bored by the recital3 of misfortune, and willingly avoids the sight of distress4. Whenever she went out -- and compassion5 for her misadventure made her friends eager to entertain her -- she bore a demeanour that was perfect. She was brave, but not too obviously; cheerful, but not brazenly6; and she seemed more anxious to listen to the troubles of others than to discuss her own. Whenever she spoke7 of her husband it was with pity. Her attitude towards him at first perplexed8 me. One day she said to me:

"You know, I'm convinced you were mistaken about Charles being alone. From what I've been able to gather from certain sources that I can't tell you, I know that he didn't leave England by himself. "

"In that case he has a positive genius for covering up his tracks. "

She looked away and slightly coloured.

"What I mean is, if anyone talks to you about it, please don't contradict it if they say he eloped with somebody. "

"Of course not. "

She changed the conversation as though it were a matter to which she attached no importance. I discovered presently that a peculiar9 story was circulating among her friends. They said that Charles Strickland had become infatuated with a French dancer, whom he had first seen in the ballet at the Empire, and had accompanied her to Paris. I could not find out how this had arisen, but, singularly enough, it created much sympathy for Mrs. Strickland, and at the same time gave her not a little prestige. This was not without its use in the calling which she had decided10 to follow. Colonel MacAndrew had not exaggerated when he said she would be penniless, and it was necessary for her to earn her own living as quickly as she could. She made up her mind to profit by her acquaintance with so many writers, and without loss of time began to learn shorthand and typewriting. Her education made it likely that she would be a typist more efficient than the average, and her story made her claims appealing. Her friends promised to send her work, and took care to recommend her to all theirs.

The MacAndrews, who were childless and in easy circumstances, arranged to undertake the care of the children, and Mrs. Strickland had only herself to provide for. She let her flat and sold her furniture. She settled in two tiny rooms in Westminster, and faced the world anew. She was so efficient that it was certain she would make a success of the adventure.

 

以后发生的事说明思特里克兰德太太是一个性格坚强的女人。不论她心里委屈多大,她都没有显露出来。她很聪明,知道老是诉说自己的不幸,人们很快就会厌烦,总是摆着一副可怜相也不会讨人喜欢。每逢她外出作客的时候——因为同情她的遭遇,很多朋友有意地邀请她——,她的举止总是十分得体。她表现得很勇敢,但又不露骨;高高兴兴,但又不惹人生厌;她好象更愿意听别人诉说自己的烦恼而不想议论她自己的不幸。每逢谈到自己丈夫的时候,她总是表示很可怜他。她对他的这种态度最初使我感到困惑。有一天她对我说:

“你知道,你告诉我说查理斯一个人在巴黎,你肯定是弄错了。根据我听到的消息——我不能告诉你这消息的来源——,我知道他不是独自离开英国的。”

“要是这样的话,他真可以说是不露行迹,简直是个天才了。”

思特里克兰德太太的目光避开了我,脸有些发红。

“我的意思是说,如果有人同你谈论这件事,要是说他是同哪个女人私奔的话,你用不着辩驳。”

“当然我不辩驳。”

她改换了话题,好象刚才说的是一件无关紧要的小事。不久我就发现,在她的朋友中间流传着一个奇怪的故事。她们说查理斯·思特里克兰德迷恋上一个法国女舞蹈家,他是在帝国大剧院看芭蕾舞首次见到这个女人的,后来就同她一起去巴黎了。我无法知道这个故事怎么会流传起来,但是奇怪的是,它为思特里克兰德太太赚得了人们不少同情,同时也使她的名望增加了不少。这对她决定今后从事的行业很有一些好处。麦克安德鲁上校当初说她手头分文不名并没有夸大。她需要尽快地找一条谋生之道。她决定利用一下她认识不少作家这一有利地位,一点儿没耽搁时间就开始学起速记和打字来。她受的教育会使她从事这一行业高于一般打字人员,她的遭遇也能为她招徕不少主顾。朋友们都答应给她拿活儿来,而且还要尽心把她推荐给各自的相识。

麦克安德鲁夫妇没有子女,生活条件又很优裕,就担当下抚养着她子女的事,思特里克兰德太太只需要维持自己一个人的生活就够了。她把住房租了出去,卖掉了家具,在威斯敏斯特附近找了两间小房安置下来。她重新把生活安排好。她非常能干,她决心兴办的这个买卖一定会成功的。


点击收听单词发音收听单词发音  

1 anguish awZz0     
n.(尤指心灵上的)极度痛苦,烦恼
参考例句:
  • She cried out for anguish at parting.分手时,她由于痛苦而失声大哭。
  • The unspeakable anguish wrung his heart.难言的痛苦折磨着他的心。
2 concealed 0v3zxG     
a.隐藏的,隐蔽的
参考例句:
  • The paintings were concealed beneath a thick layer of plaster. 那些画被隐藏在厚厚的灰泥层下面。
  • I think he had a gun concealed about his person. 我认为他当时身上藏有一支枪。
3 recital kAjzI     
n.朗诵,独奏会,独唱会
参考例句:
  • She is going to give a piano recital.她即将举行钢琴独奏会。
  • I had their total attention during the thirty-five minutes that my recital took.在我叙述的35分钟内,他们完全被我吸引了。
4 distress 3llzX     
n.苦恼,痛苦,不舒适;不幸;vt.使悲痛
参考例句:
  • 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。
5 compassion 3q2zZ     
n.同情,怜悯
参考例句:
  • He could not help having compassion for the poor creature.他情不自禁地怜悯起那个可怜的人来。
  • Her heart was filled with compassion for the motherless children.她对于没有母亲的孩子们充满了怜悯心。
6 brazenly 050b0303ab1c4b948fddde2c176e6101     
adv.厚颜无耻地;厚脸皮地肆无忌惮地
参考例句:
  • How dare he distort the facts so brazenly! 他怎么敢如此肆无忌惮地歪曲事实! 来自《现代英汉综合大词典》
  • "I don't know," he answered, looking her brazenly over. “我也不知道,"他厚颜无耻地打量着她。 来自英汉文学 - 嘉莉妹妹
7 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
参考例句:
  • 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。
8 perplexed A3Rz0     
adj.不知所措的
参考例句:
  • The farmer felt the cow,went away,returned,sorely perplexed,always afraid of being cheated.那农民摸摸那头牛,走了又回来,犹豫不决,总怕上当受骗。
  • The child was perplexed by the intricate plot of the story.这孩子被那头绪纷繁的故事弄得迷惑不解。
9 peculiar cinyo     
adj.古怪的,异常的;特殊的,特有的
参考例句:
  • He walks in a peculiar fashion.他走路的样子很奇特。
  • He looked at me with a very peculiar expression.他用一种很奇怪的表情看着我。
10 decided lvqzZd     
adj.决定了的,坚决的;明显的,明确的
参考例句:
  • 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。


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