外语教育网
您的位置:外语教育网 > 英语文化视窗 > 文学与艺术 > 小说 正文
  • 站内搜索:

Senility

2006-09-08 19:39

  He was an old man and he sat on the steps of the railroad station in a small Kentucky town.

  A well dressed man, some traveler from the city, approached and stood before him.

  The old man became self-conscious.

  His smile was like the smile of a very young child. His face was all sunken and wrinkled and he had a huge nose.

  “Have you any coughs, colds, consumption or bleeding sickness?” he asked. In his voice there was a pleading quality.

  The stranger shook his head. The old man arose.

  “The sickness that bleeds is a terrible nuisance,” he said. His tongue protruded from between his teeth and he rattled it about. He put his hand on the stranger's arm and laughed.

  “Bully, pretty,” he exclaimed. “I cure them all——coughs, colds, consumption and the sickness that bleeds. I take warts from the hand——I cannot explain how I do it——it is a mystery——I charge nothing——my name is Tom——do you like me?”

  The stranger was cordial. He nodded his head. The old man became reminiscent. “My father was a hard man,” he declared. “He was like me, a blacksmith by trade, but he wore a plug hat. When the corn was high he said to the poor, 'go into the fields and pick' but when the war came he made a rich man pay five dollars for a bushel of corn.”

  “I married against his will. He came to me and he said, 'Tom I do not like that girl.'”

  “'But I love her,' I said.

  “'I don't,' he said.

  “My father and I sat on a log. He was a pretty man and wore a plug hat. 'I will get the license,' I said.

  “'I will give you no money,' he said.

  “My marriage cost me twenty-one dollars——I worked in the corn——it rained and the horses were blind——the clerk said, 'Are you over twenty- one?' I said 'yes' and she said 'yes.' We had chalked it on our shoes. My father said, 'I give you your freedom.' We had no money. My marriage cost twenty-one dollars. She is dead.”

  The old man looked at the sky. It was evening and the sun had set. The sky was all mottled with grey clouds. “I paint beautiful pictures and give them away,” he declared. “My brother is in the penitentiary. He killed a man who called him an ugly name.”

  The decrepit old man held his hands before the face of the stranger. He opened and shut them. They were black with grime. “I pick out warts,” he explained plaintively. “They are as soft as your hands.”

  “I play on an accordion. You are thirty-seven years old. I sat beside my brother in the penitentiary. He is a pretty man with pompadour hair. 'Albert' I said, 'are you sorry you killed a man?' 'No,' he said, 'I am not sorry. I would kill ten, a hundred, a thousand!'”

  The old man began to weep and to wipe his hands with a soiled handkerchief. He attempted to take a chew of tobacco and his false teeth became displaced. He covered his mouth with his hands and was ashamed.

  “I am old. You are thirty-seven years old but I am older than that,” he whispered.

  “My brother is a bad man——he is full of hate——he is pretty and has pompadour hair, but he would kill and kill. I hate old age——I am ashamed that I am old.

  “I have a pretty new wife. I wrote her four letters and she replied. She came here and we married——I love to see her walk——O, I buy her pretty clothes.

  “Her foot is not straight——it is twisted——my first wife is dead——I pick warts off the hand with my fingers and no blood comes——I cure coughs, colds, consumption and the sickness that bleeds——people can write to me and I answer the letters——if they send me no money it is no matter——all is free.”

  Again the old man wept and the stranger tried to comfort him. “You are a happy man?” the stranger asked.

  “Yes,” said the old man, “and a good man too. Ask everywhere about me—— my name is Tom, a blacksmith——my wife walks prettily although she has a twisted foot——I have bought her a long dress——she is thirty and I am seventy-five——she has many pairs of shoes——I have bought them for her, but her foot is twisted——I buy straight shoes——

  “She thinks I do not know——everybody thinks Tom does not know——I have bought her a long dress that comes down to the ground——my name is Tom, a blacksmith——I am seventy-five and I hate old age——I take warts off the hands and no blood comes——people may write to me and I answer the letters——all is free.”

相关热词:小说

上一篇:Rolf in the Woods(Chapter34)

下一篇:Seeds

栏目相关课程表
科目名称 主讲老师 课时 免费试听 优惠价 购买课程
英语零起点 郭俊霞 30课时 试听 150元/门 购买
综艺乐园 ------ 15课时 试听 100元/门 购买
边玩边学 ------ 10课时 试听 60元/门 购买
情景喜剧 ------ 15课时 试听 100元/门 购买
欢乐课堂 ------ 35课时 试听 150元/门 购买
趣味英语速成 钟 平 18课时 试听 179元/门 购买
剑桥少儿英语预备级 (Pre-Starters) ------ ------ 试听 200元/门 购买
剑桥少儿英语一级 (Starters) ------ ------ 试听 200元/门 购买
剑桥少儿英语二级 (Movers) ------ ------ 试听 200元/门 购买
剑桥少儿英语三级 (Flyers) ------ ------ 试听 200元/门 购买
初级英语口语 ------ 55课时 ------ 350元/门 购买
中级英语口语 ------ 83课时 ------ 350元/门 购买
高级英语口语 ------ 122课时 ------ 350元/门 购买
基础英语辅导课程
郭俊霞 北京语言大学毕业,国内某知名中学英语教研组长,教学标兵……详情>>
郭俊霞:零基础英语网上辅导名师
钟平 北大才俊,英语辅导专家,累计从事英语教学八年,机械化翻译公式发明人……详情>>
钟平:趣味英语速成网上辅导名师

  1、凡本网注明 “来源:外语教育网”的所有作品,版权均属外语教育网所有,未经本网授权不得转载、链接、转贴或以其他方式使用;已经本网授权的,应在授权范围内使用,且必须注明“来源:外语教育网”。违反上述声明者,本网将追究其法律责任。
  2、本网部分资料为网上搜集转载,均尽力标明作者和出处。对于本网刊载作品涉及版权等问题的,请作者与本网站联系,本网站核实确认后会尽快予以处理。本网转载之作品,并不意味着认同该作品的观点或真实性。如其他媒体、网站或个人转载使用,请与著作权人联系,并自负法律责任。
  3、联系方式
  编辑信箱:for68@chinaacc.com
  电话:010-82319999-2371