Once there was a very rich man. He lived in a beautiful house， and had a beautiful garden. The rich man had a blue beard： so he was called “Blue Beard”。
Near the rich man's house there lived a poor woman. She had three sons and two beautiful girls. The name of one of the girls was Ann； the name of the other was Fatima. Blue Beard wanted to marry one of the girls， but the girls did not want to marry Blue Beard.
Ann and Fatima did not want to marry the rich man because his beard was blue. Blue Beard had married many wives， but his wives had gone away. No one knew where his other wives had gone. The girls did not want to marry Blue Beard and become his wife， because no one knew where his other wives had gone. So their mother said to Blue Beard， “My girls do not want to marry you.”
Then Blue Beard said， “Come and live in my house for some days.” So they went and lived in Blue Beard's house. It was a very beautiful house， and Blue Beard was good to them in many ways.
Fatima said， “His beard is blue， but he is not a bad man. He is very good in some ways. So I will marry him.”
So fatima married Blue Beard， and went to live in the beautiful house. Some days went by. Then Blue Beard said， “I shall go on a journey.” Then he gave Fatima the keys of all the rooms in the house. He said， “This is the key of that little room； do not open the door of it. … Say that you will not open the door of the little room！”
Fatima said， “I will not open the door of that little room.” Then Blue Beard went away. When Blue Beard was away， all Fatima's friends came to see her. She showed them the rooms， and what a beautiful house it was； but she did not open the door of the little room.
The friends went away. Then Fatima said， “Shall I open the door of that little room now？ Why did he say， 'Do not open it'？ I want to see what is in the little room.”
Fatima took the key； she went to the door of the little room， and opened it. In the room she saw all Blue Beard's other wives. They were dead！
The key fell from her hand. When she took it up there was a red mark on it.
She shut the door. Then she took the key to her room. She said， “Blue Beard will see the mark on the key， he will know that I have opened the door of the little room， and he will kill me， as he killed all the other wives.” She rubbed the key with a cloth， but the mark did not go away. She washed the key in hot water， but the mark was not washed away. She rubbed the key on a stone， but she could not rub the mark away.
Blue Beard came back. He called Fatima， and said， “Give me my keys.” Fatima gave him the other keys； but she did not give him the key of the little room. He said， “Where is the key of the little room？” She said， “I will bring it.” She went and brought it； and he saw the red mark. He said， “You have opened the door of the little room. Now you shall die.”
She fell at his feet： “Give me some hours to live，” she said.
He said， “I will give you one hour.”
Fatima had three brothers. Her brothers had said， “We shall come and see you today，” but they had not come. She said， “If my brothers come in this hour they will save me.”
Her sister Ann was in the house. She called to her， “Sister Ann， Sister Ann， go the the window and see if my brothers are coming.”
Sister Ann went to the window； she said， “I see no one coming.”
Fatima waited a little； then she cried， “Sister Ann， Sister Ann， do you see anyone coming？”
Sister Ann said， “I do not see anyone； no one is coming.”
Blue Beard called， “Fatima！”
Fatima said， “Sister Ann， Sister Ann， is anyone coming？”
“I see a little dust，” said Sister Ann， “very far away.”
Blue Beard called， “Fatima， come down.”
“Sister Ann， Sister Ann，” said Fatima， “is there anyone in the dust？”
“I see men in the dust，” said Sister Ann.
Blue Beard called， “An hour has gone by. Come down， Fatima， and I shall kill you.”
“Sister Ann， Sister Ann， are three men in the dust？”
Blue Beard called， “An hour has gone by. If you do not come down， I shall come up.”
“I see three men，” said Sister Ann.
“They are my brothers！” said Fatima.
Fatima said， “Sister Ann， call to them to come and save me.”
Blue Beard called， “I am coming up，” he said.
“Sister Ann， call to them， Sister Ann！”
Blue Beard came to the door.
The door opened： Blue Beard caught Fatima's arm.
The three brothers came in， and killed Blue Beard.
So Fatima was saved.
I. Translation for Reference（参考译文）
II. Exercise Choose the correct answer to the following questions.
1. Why didn't Ann and Fatima want to marry Blue Beard？
A. Because his beard was blue.
B. Because his former wives were missing and no one knew where they had gone.
C. Because their mother refused to marry them to Blue Beard.
D. Both A and B.
2. Why did Fatima finally marry Blue Beard？
A. Because her mother had already agreed.
B. Because Blue Beard had already agreed.
C. Because Fatima believed that Blue Beard was a good man.
D. All of the above.
3. Which of the following statements in NOT true？
A. Blue Beard gave Fatima the keys of all the rooms but the one of the little room.
B. Fatima promised not to open the door of that little room.
C. She didn't open the door of the little room when her friends come to see her.
D. She was very curious about the little room.
4. When Fatima finally opened the door of the little room， _______.
A. She was too frightened to hold the key
B. A red mark appeared immediately
C. She found all Blue Beard's other wives alive
D. Blue Beard came back at once
5. When Fatima saw the red mark on the key， _______.
A. She paid no attention to it
B. She realized Blue Beard would know what she did
C. She managed to rub the mark away
D. She painted the red mark blue
6. When Blue Beard came back and asked for his keys， _______.
A. Fatima gave him all the keys at once
B. Fatima only gave him the key to the little room
C. Fatima didn't give him the key to the little room in the end
D. Fatima hid the one with red mark at first
7. Why did Fatima ask for some hours to live when Blue Beard decided to kill her？
A. Because she wanted to see her Sister Ann.
B. Because she missed her brothers and her mother very much.
C. Because she thought that Blue Beard might free her some hours later.
D. Because she was still hopeful to be saved.
8. Which of the following statements if true？
A. When Blue Beard wanted to kill Fatima no one stayed with her.
B. It took Fatima's three brothers less than one hour to come to save her.
C. Blue Beard wanted to kill both Fatima and sister Ann.
D. Fatima was almost killed by Blue Beard， when her brother came in.
9. Blue Beard was _______.
A. Pretending to be a kind man
B. Kind and friendly
D. Both A and C
III. New Words and Expressions 生词和词组
1）。 beard n. 胡子
2）。 Journey n. 旅行
Key to Exercise（练习答案）
1：D 2：C 3：A 4：A 5：B 6：D 7：D 8：D 9：D