Unit1 B The Thief's Story

Unit1 B The Thief's Story

2019-07-16    09'03''

发布人: Luka英语朗读

876 8

介绍:
I was still a thief when I met Anil. And though only 15, I was an experienced and fairly successful hand . Anil was watching a wrestling match when I came to him. He was about 25 —a tall fellow — and he looked easygoing, kind and simple enough for my purpose. I hadn&`&t had much luck of late and thought I might be able to get into the young man&`&s confidence . "You look a bit of a wrestler yourself," I said. A little flattery helps in makingg friends . "So do you," he replied, which put me off for a moment because at that time I was rather thin . "Well," I said modestly, "I do wrestle a bit " "What&`&s your name?" "Hari Singh," I lied. I took a new name every month. That kept me ahead of the police and my former employers. Then Anil began to talk about the two well-oiled wrestlers who were grunting , gasping ll and heaving each other about. I didn&`&t have much to say. Anil walked away. I followed casually. "Hello again," he said. I gave him my most pleasant smile. "I want to work for you," I said. "But I can&`&t pay you. " I thought that over for a minute. Perhaps I had misjudged my man. "Can you feed me? " I asked. "Can you cook?" "I can cook," I lied again. "Ifyou can cook, then maybe I can feed you." He took me to his room over the Jumna Sweet Shop and told me I could sleep on the balcony. But the meal I cooked that night must have been terrible because Anil gave it to a stray dog and told me to be off. But I just hung around smiling in my most pleasant way, and he couldn&`&t help laughing. Later, he patted me on the head and said never mind, he&`&d teach me to cook. He also taught me to write my name and said he would soon teach me to write whole sentences and to add numbers. I was grateful. I knew that once I could write like an educated man there would be no limit to what I could achieve. It was quite pleasant working for Anil. I made the tea in morning and then would take my time buying the day&`&s supplies 18, usually making a profit of about a rupee a day. I think he knew I made a little money this way but he did not seem to mind. Anil made money by fits and starts . He would borrow one week, lend the next . He kept worrying about his next check, but as soon as it arrived he would go out and celebrate . It seems he wrote for magazines, a queer way to make a living. One evening he came home with a small bundle of notes saying he had just sold a book to a publisher. At night, I saw him put the money under the mattress. I had been working for Anil for almost a month and, apart from cheating on the shopping, I had not done anything in my line ofwork. I had every opportunity for doing so. Anil had given me a key to the door, and I could come and go as I pleased. He was the most frusting person I had ever met. And that is why it was so difficult to rob him. It&`&s easy to rob a greedy man, because he can afford to be robbed; but it&`&s difficult to rob a careless man —sometimes he doesn&`&t even notice he&`&s been robbed and that takes all the spice out of the work. Well, it&`&s time I did some real work, I told myself; I&`&m out of practice . And if I don&`&t take the money, he&`&ll only waste it on his friends. After all, he doesn&`&t even pay me. Anil was asleep. A beam of moonlight stepped over the balcony and fell on the bed. I sat up on the floor, considering the situation. If I took the money, I could catch the 10:30 train to Lucknow Getting out of the blanket, I went up to the bed. Anil was sleeping peacefully, with soft and easy breathing. His face was clear and unlined even I had more marks on my face, though mine were mostly scars My hand slid under the mattress, searching for the notes. When I found them, I drew them out without a sound. Anil sighed" in his sleep and turned on his side toward me. I got surprised and quickly got out of the room. When I was on the road, I began to run. I had the notes at my waist, held there by the string of my pyjamas 1 slowed down to a walk, and my fingers moved through the notes: 600 rupees in fifties. A good haul ! I could live like an oil-rich Arab for a week or two. When I reached the station I did not stop at the ticket office (I had never bought a ticket in my life) but ran straight on to the platform. The Lucknow train was just moving out. The frain had still to pick up speed and I should have been able to jump on one of the carriages, but I hesitated — for some reason I can&`&t explain— and I lost the chance to get away. When the train had gone, I found myself standing alone on the deserter platform. I had no idea where to spend the night. I had no friends, believing that friends were more trouble than help . And I did not want to cause curiosity by staying at one of the small hotels near the station. The only person I knew really well was the man I had robbed. Leaving the station, I walked slowly through the bazaar. In my short career as a collector of other people&`&s possessions, I had made a study of men&`&s faces when they had lost their goods. The greedy man showed fear; the rich man showed anger, the poor man showed resignation. But I knew that Anil&`&s face, when he discovered the thefts, would show only a touch of sadnesssn Not for the loss of money, but for the loss of trust. I found myself in the maidan , and sat down on a bench. The night was cold —it was early November— and a light drizzle added to my discomfort. Soon it was raining quite heavily. My shirt and pyjamas stuck to my skin, and a cold wind brought the rain beating across my face. I went back to the bazaar and sat down in the shelter of the clock tower. A few beggars and vagrants lay beside me, rolled up tightly in thin blankets. The clock showed midnight. I felt for the notes. They were wet from the rain. Anil&`&s money. In the morning he would probably have given me two or three rupees to go to the cinema, but now I had it all. No more cooking meals, running to the bazaar or learning to write whole sentences. Whole sentences. I had forgotten about them in the excitement of the theft. Whole sentences, I knew, could one day bring me more than a few hundred rupees. It was a simple matter to steal — and sometimes just as simple to be caught. But to be a really big man, a clever and respected man, was something else. I should go back to Anil, I told myself, if only to learn to read and write. I hurried back to the room feeling very nervous, for it is much easier to steal something than to return it without being found out. I opened the door quietly, then stood in the doorway, in clouded moonlight. Anil was still asleep. I went to the head of the bed, and my hand came up with the notes. I felt his breath on my hand. I remained still for a minute. Then my hand found the edge of the mattress, slipped under it with the notes. I awoke late next morning to find that Anil had already made the tea. He stretched out his hand toward me. There was a 50-rupee note between his fingers. My heart sank. I thought I had been discovered. "I made some money yesterday," he explained. "Now you&`&ll be paid regularly." My spirits rose . But when I took the note, I saw it was still wet from the night&`&s rain. "Today we&`&ll start writing sentences," he said. He knew. But neither his lips nor his eyes showed anything. I smiled at Anil in my most pleasant way. And the smile came by itself, without any effort. Notes on the passage (注释) a bit of a sth.(line 6) : especially British English used to show that the way you describe sth. is only true to a limited degree. Lucknow (line 51) 勒克瑙(印度北部城市) maidan (line 74) an open space in or near a town in S Asia, usually covered with grass (用作市场等的空地)