unit 1 Mr. Doherty Builds His Dream Life
In America many people have a romantic idea of life in the countryside. Many living in towns dream of starting up their own farm, of living off the land. Few get round to putting their dreams into practice. This is perhaps just as well, as the life of a farmer is far from easy, as Jim Doherty discovered when he set out to combine being a writer with running a farm. Nevertheless, as he explains, he has no regrets and remains enthusiastic about his decision to change his way of life.
Mr. Doherty Builds His Dream Life
Jim Doherty 1 There are two things I have always wanted to do -- write and live on a farm. Today I'm doing both. I am not in E. B. White's class as a writer or in my neighbors' league as a farmer, but I'm getting by. And after years of frustration with city and suburban living, my wife Sandy and I have finally found contentment here in the country.
2 It's a self-reliant sort of life. We grow nearly all of our fruits and vegetables. Our hens keep us in eggs, with several dozen left over to sell each week. Our bees provide us with honey, and we cut enough wood to just about make it through the heating season.
3 It's a satisfying life too. In the summer we canoe on the river, go picnicking in the woods and take long bicycle rides. In the winter we ski and skate. We get excited about sunsets. We love the smell of the earth warming and the sound of cattle lowing. We watch for hawks in the sky and deer in the cornfields.
4 But the good life can get pretty tough. Three months ago when it was 30 below, we spent two miserable days hauling firewood up the river on a sled. Three months from now, it will be 9
5 above and we will be cultivating corn, weeding strawberries and killing chickens. Recently, Sandy and I had to retile the back roof. Soon Jim, 1
6 and Emily, 13, the youngest of our four children, will help me make some long-overdue improvements on the outdoor toilet that supplements our indoor plumbing when we are working outside. Later this month, we'll spray the orchard, paint the barn, plant the garden and clean the hen house before the new chicks arrive.
5 In between such chores, I manage to spend 50 to 60 hours a week at the typewriter or doing reporting for the freelance articles I sell to magazines and newspapers. Sandy, meanwhile, pursues her own demanding schedule. Besides the usual household routine, she oversees the garden and beehives, bakes bread, cans and freezes, drives the kids to their music lessons, practices with them, takes organ lessons on her own, does research and typing for me, writes an article herself now and then, tends the flower beds, stacks a little wood and delivers the eggs. There is, as the old saying goes, no rest for the wicked on a place like this -- and not much for the virtuous either. 在这些活计之间，我每周要抽空花五、六十个小时，不是打字撰文，就是为作为自由撰稿人投给报刊的文章进行采访。桑迪则有她自己繁忙的工作日程。除了日常的家务，她还照管菜园和蜂房，烘烤面包，将食品装罐、冷藏，开车送孩子学音乐，和他们一起练习，自己还要上风琴课，为我做些研究工作并打字，自己有时也写写文章，还要侍弄花圃，堆摞木柴、运送鸡蛋。正如老话说的那样，在这种情形之下，坏人不得闲――贤德之人也歇不了。
6 None of us will ever forget our first winter. We were buried under five feet of snow from December through March. While one storm after another blasted huge drifts up against the house and barn, we kept warm inside burning our own wood, eating our own apples and loving every minute of it.
7 When spring came, it brought two floods. First the river overflowed, covering much of our land for weeks. Then the growing season began, swamping us under wave after wave of produce. Our freezer filled up with cherries, raspberries, strawberries, asparagus, peas, beans and corn. Then our canned-goods shelves and cupboards began to grow with preserves, tomato juice, grape juice, plums, jams and jellies. Eventually, the basement floor disappeared under piles of potatoes, squash and pumpkins, and the barn began to fill with apples and pears. It was amazing.
8 The next year we grew even more food and managed to get through the winter on firewood that was mostly from our own trees and only 100 gallons of heating oil. At that point I began thinking seriously about quitting my job and starting to freelance. The timing was terrible. By then, Shawn and Amy, our oldest girls were attending expensive Ivy League schools and we had only a few thousand dollars in the bank. Yet we kept coming back to the same question: Will there ever be a better time? The answer, decidedly, was no, and so -- with my employer's blessings and half a year's pay in accumulated benefits in my pocket -- off I went.
9 There have been a few anxious moments since then, but on balance things have gone much better than we had any right to expect. For various stories of mine, I've crawled into black-bear dens for Sports Illustrated, hitched up dogsled racing teams for Smithsonian magazine, checked out the Lake Champlain "monster" for Science Digest, and canoed through the Boundary Waters wilderness area of Minnesota for Destinations.
10 I'm not making anywhere near as much money as I did when I was employed full time, but now we don't need as much either. I generate enough income to handle our $600-a-month mortgage payments plus the usual expenses for a family like ours. That includes everything from music lessons and dental bills to car repairs and college costs. When it comes to insurance, we have a poor man's major-medical policy. We have to pay the first $500 of any medical fees for each member of the family. It picks up 80% of the costs beyond that. Although we are stuck with paying minor expenses, our premium is low -- only $560 a year -- and we are covered against catastrophe. Aside from that and the policy on our two cars at $400 a year, we have no other insurance. But we are setting aside $2,000 a year in an IRA.
11 We've been able to make up the difference in income by cutting back without appreciably lowering our standard of living. We continue to dine out once or twice a month, but now we patronize local restaurants instead of more expensive places in the city. We still attend the opera and ballet in Milwaukee but only a few times a year. We eat less meat, drink cheaper wine and see fewer movies. Extravagant Christmases are a memory, and we combine vacations with story assignments...
12 I suspect not everyone who loves the country would be happy living the way we do. It takes a couple of special qualities. One is a tolerance for solitude. Because we are so busy and on such a tight budget, we don't entertain much. During the growing season there is no time for socializing anyway. Jim and Emily are involved in school activities, but they too spend most of their time at home.
13 The other requirement is energy -- a lot of it. The way to make self-sufficiency work on a small scale is to resist the temptation to buy a tractor and other expensive laborsaving devices. Instead, you do the work yourself. The only machinery we own (not counting the lawn mower) is a little three-horsepower rotary cultivator and a 16-inch chain saw.
14 How much longer we'll have enough energy to stay on here is anybody's guess -- perhaps for quite a while, perhaps not. When the time comes, we'll leave with a feeling of sorrow but also with a sense of pride at what we've been able to accomplish. We should make a fair profit on the sale of the place, too. We've invested about $35,000 of our own money in it, and we could just about double that if we sold today. But this is not a good time to sell. Once economic conditions improve, however, demand for farms like ours should be strong again.
15 We didn't move here primarily to earn money though. We came because we wanted to improve the quality of our lives. When I watch Emily collecting eggs in the evening, fishing with Jim on the river or enjoying an old-fashioned picnic in the orchard with the entire family, I know we've found just what we were looking for.
unit 2 The Freedom Givers
In 2004 a center in honor of the "underground railroad" opens in Cincinnati. The railroad was unusual. It sold no tickets and had no trains. Yet it carried thousands of passengers to the destination of their dreams.
The Freedom Givers
Fergus M. Bordewich 1 A gentle breeze swept the Canadian plains as I stepped outside the small two-story house. Alongside me was a slender woman in a black dress, my guide back to a time when the surrounding settlement in Dresden, Ontario, was home to a hero in American history. As we walked toward a plain gray church, Barbara Carter spoke proudly of her great-great-grandfather, Josiah Henson. "He was confident that the Creator intended all men to be created equal. And he never gave up struggling for that freedom."
2 Carter's devotion to her ancestor is about more than personal pride: it is about family honor. For Josiah Henson has lived on through the character in American fiction that he helped inspire: Uncle Tom, the long-suffering slave in Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin. Ironically, that character has come to symbolize everything Henson was not. A racial sellout unwilling to stand up for himself? Carter gets angry at the thought. "Josiah Henson was a man of principle," she said firmly.
3 I had traveled here to Henson's last home -- now a historic site that Carter formerly directed -- to learn more about a man who was, in many ways, an African-American Moses. After winning his own freedom from slavery, Henson secretly helped hundreds of other slaves to escape north to Canada -- and liberty. Many settled here in Dresden with him.
4 Yet this stop was only part of a much larger mission for me. Josiah Henson is but one name on a long list of courageous men and women who together forged the Underground Railroad, a secret web of escape routes and safe houses that they used to liberate slaves from the American South. Between 1820 and 1860, as many as 100,000 slaves traveled the Railroad to freedom.
5 In October 2000, President Clinton authorized $1
6 million for the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center to honor this first great civil-rights struggle in the U. S. The center is scheduled to open in 2004 in Cincinnati. And it's about time. For the heroes of the Underground Railroad remain too little remembered, their exploits still largely unsung. I was intent on telling their stories. 2000年10月，克林顿总统批准拨款1600万美元建造全国“地下铁路”自由中心，以此纪念美国历史上第一次伟大的民权斗争。中心计划于2004年在辛辛那提州建成。真是该建立这样一个中心的时候了。因为地下铁路的英雄们依然默默无闻，他们的业绩依然少人颂扬。我要讲述他们的故事。
6 John Parker tensed when he heard the soft knock. Peering out his door into the night, he recognized the face of a trusted neighbor. "There's a party of escaped slaves hiding in the woods in Kentucky, twenty miles from the river," the man whispered urgently. Parker didn't hesitate. "I'll go," he said, pushing a pair of pistols into his pockets.
7 Born a slave two decades before, in the 1820s, Parker had been taken from his mother at age eight and forced to walk in chains from Virginia to Alabama, where he was sold on the slave market. Determined to live free someday, he managed to get trained in iron molding. Eventually he saved enough money working at this trade on the side to buy his freedom. Now, by day, Parker worked in an iron foundry in the Ohio port of Ripley. By night he was a "conductor" on the Underground Railroad, helping people slip by the slave hunters. In Kentucky, where he was now headed, there was a $1000 reward for his capture, dead or alive.
8 Crossing the Ohio River on that chilly night, Parker found ten fugitives frozen with fear. "Get your bundles and follow me, " he told them, leading the eight men and two women toward the river. They had almost reached shore when a watchman spotted them and raced off to spread the news.
9 Parker saw a small boat and, with a shout, pushed the escaping slaves into it. There was room for all but two. As the boat slid across the river, Parker watched helplessly as the pursuers closed in around the men he was forced to leave behind.
10 The others made it to the Ohio shore, where Parker hurriedly arranged for a wagon to take them to the next "station" on the Underground Railroad -- the first leg of their journey to safety in Canada. Over the course of his life, John Parker guided more than 400 slaves to safety.
11 While black conductors were often motivated by their own painful experiences, whites were commonly driven by religious convictions. Levi Coffin, a Quaker raised in North Carolina, explained, "The Bible, in bidding us to feed the hungry and clothe the naked, said nothing about color."
12 In the 1820s Coffin moved west to Newport (now Fountain City), Indiana, where he opened a store. Word spread that fleeing slaves could always find refuge at the Coffin home. At times he sheltered as many as 17 fugitives at once, and he kept a team and wagon ready to convey them on the next leg of their journey. Eventually three principal routes converged at the Coffin
house, which came to be the Grand Central Terminal of the Underground Railroad.
13 For his efforts, Coffin received frequent death threats and warnings that his store and home would be burned. Nearly every conductor faced similar risks -- or worse. In the North, a magistrate might have imposed a fine or a brief jail sentence for aiding those escaping. In the Southern states, whites were sentenced to months or even years in jail. One courageous Methodist minister, Calvin Fairbank, was imprisoned for more than 17 years in Kentucky, where he kept a log of his beatings: 35,105 stripes with the whip.
14 As for the slaves, escape meant a journey of hundreds of miles through unknown country, where they were usually easy to recognize. With no road signs and few maps, they had to put their trust in directions passed by word of mouth and in secret signs -- nails driven into trees, for example -- that conductors used to mark the route north.
15 Many slaves traveled under cover of night, their faces sometimes caked with white powder. Quakers often dressed their "passengers," both male and female, in gray dresses, deep bonnets and full veils. On one occasion, Levi Coffin was transporting so many runaway slaves that he disguised them as a funeral procession.
16 Canada was the primary destination for many fugitives. Slavery had been abolished there in 1833, and Canadian authorities encouraged the runaways to settle their vast virgin land. Among them was Josiah Henson.
17 As a boy in Maryland, Henson watched as his entire family was sold to different buyers, and he saw his mother harshly beaten when she tried to keep him with her. Making the best of his lot, Henson worked diligently and rose far in his owner's regard.
18 Money problems eventually compelled his master to send Henson, his wife and children to
a brother in Kentucky. After laboring there for several years, Henson heard alarming news: the new master was planning to sell him for plantation work far away in the Deep South. The slave would be separated forever from his family.
19 There was only one answer: flight. "I knew the North Star," Henson wrote years later. "Like the star of Bethlehem, it announced where my salvation lay. "
20 At huge risk, Henson and his wife set off with their four children. Two weeks later, starving and exhausted, the family reached Cincinnati, where they made contact with members of the Underground Railroad. "Carefully they provided for our welfare, and then they set us thirty miles on our way by wagon."
21 The Hensons continued north, arriving at last in Buffalo, N. Y. There a friendly captain pointed across the Niagara River. "'Do you see those trees?' he said. 'They grow on free soil.'" He gave Henson a dollar and arranged for a boat, which carried the slave and his family across the river to Canada.
22 "I threw myself on the ground, rolled in the sand and danced around, till, in the eyes of several who were present, I passed for a madman. 'He's some crazy fellow,' said a Colonel Warren."
23 "'Oh, no! Don't you know? I'm free!'"
unit 3 The Land of the Lock
Years ago in America, it was customary for families to leave their doors unlocked, day and night. In this essay, Greene regrets that people can no longer trust each other and have to resort to elaborate security systems to protect themselves and their possessions.
The Land of the Lock
1 In the house where I grew up, it was our custom to leave the front door on the latch at night. I don't know if that was a local term or if it is universal; "on the latch" meant the door was closed but not locked. None of us carried keys; the last one in for the evening would close up, and that was it.
2 Those days are over. In rural areas as well as in cities, doors do not stay unlocked, even for part of an evening.
3 Suburbs and country areas are, in many ways, even more vulnerable than well-patroled urban streets. Statistics show the crime rate rising more dramatically in those allegedly tranquil areas than in cities. At any rate, the era of leaving the front door on the latch is over.
4 It has been replaced by dead-bolt locks, security chains, electronic alarm systems and trip wires hooked up to a police station or private guard firm. Many suburban families have sliding glass doors on their patios, with steel bars elegantly built in so no one can pry the doors open.
5 It is not uncommon, in the most pleasant of homes, to see pasted on the windows small notices announcing that the premises are under surveillance by this security force or that guard company. 在最温馨的居家，也常常看得到窗上贴着小小的告示，称本宅由某家安全机构或某个保安公司负责监管。
6 The lock is the new symbol of America. Indeed, a recent public-service advertisement by a large insurance company featured not charts showing how much at risk we are, but a picture of a child's bicycle with the now-usual padlock attached to it.
7 The ad pointed out that, yes, it is the insurance companies that pay for stolen goods, but who is going to pay for what the new atmosphere of distrust and fear is doing to our way of life? Who is going to make the psychic payment for the transformation of America from the Land of the Free to the Land of the Lock?
8 For that is what has happened. We have become so used to defending ourselves against the new atmosphere of American life, so used to putting up barriers, that we have not had time to think about what it may mean.
9 For some reason we are satisfied when we think we are well-protected; it does not occur to us to ask ourselves: Why has this happened? Why are we having to barricade ourselves against our neighbors and fellow citizens, and when, exactly, did this start to take over our lives?
10 And it has taken over. If you work for a medium- to large-size company, chances are that you don't just wander in and out of work. You probably carry some kind of access card, electronic or otherwise, that allows you in and out of your place of work. Maybe the security guard at the front desk knows your face and will wave you in most days, but the fact remains that the business you work for feels threatened enough to keep outsiders away via these "keys."
11 It wasn't always like this. Even a decade ago, most private businesses had a policy of free access. It simply didn't occur to managers that the proper thing to do was to distrust people.
12 Look at the airports. Parents used to take children out to departure gates to watch planes land and take off. That's all gone. Airports are no longer a place of education and fun; they are the most sophisticated of security sites.
13 With electronic X-ray equipment, we seem finally to have figured out a way to hold the terrorists, real and imagined, at bay; it was such a relief to solve this problem that we did not think much about what such a state of affairs says about the quality of our lives. We now pass through these electronic friskers without so much as a sideways glance; the machines, and what they stand for, have won.
14 Our neighborhoods are bathed in high-intensity light; we do not want to afford ourselves even so much a luxury as a shadow.
15 Businessmen, in increasing numbers, are purchasing new machines that hook up to the telephone and analyze a caller's voice. The machines are supposed to tell the businessman, with a small margin of error, whether his friend or client is telling lies.
16 All this is being done in the name of "security"; that is what we tell ourselves. We are fearful, and so we devise ways to lock the fear out, and that, we decide, is what security means.
17 But no; with all this "security," we are perhaps the most insecure nation in the history of civilized man. What better word to describe the way in which we have been forced to live? What sadder reflection on all that we have become in this new and puzzling time?
18 We trust no one. Suburban housewives wear rape whistles on their station wagon key chains. We have become so smart about self-protection that, in the end, we have all outsmarted ourselves. We may have locked the evils out, but in so doing we have locked ourselves in.
19 That may be the legacy we remember best when we look back on this age: In dealing with the unseen horrors among us, we became prisoners of ourselves. All of us prisoners, in this time of our troubles.
1905 年，在年龄26 时，四年前他找到了工作作为一个物理学教授，爱因斯坦提出了五个在科学史最重要的论文”——所有在他的空余时间写的。”他证明了原子和分子的存在。1905年之前，科学家们不清楚那些。他认为光是小块（后来被称为“光子”），从而奠定了量子力的学基础，。他描述了他的狭义相对论理论：空间和时间是同一个织物的线，他提出那是可弯曲，拉伸和扭曲的。
哦，顺便说一句，E = mc2。
几个世纪以来,历史学家称为1666 牛顿的“奇迹年。现在这些话有不同的意义: 爱因斯坦和1905。联合国已经宣布2005 年“世界物理年“庆祝爱因斯坦“奇迹年的100 周年。现代流行文化吧画爱因斯坦作为一个bushy-haired super thinker。我们被告之他的想法，是不可能远远领先于其他科学家。他一定是从其他星球来的——也许是牛顿长大的同一个星球。
“在1905 年，”Galison 记录，“爱因斯坦刚刚获得博士学位。他不感激于一个导师或任何其他权威人物。”因此他的思想在自由漫游。
不过这不能使他慢下来。蔑视谨慎，爱因斯坦采用了直观的飞跃作为一个基本工具。“我相信直觉和灵感，”他写道，在1931 年。“有时我觉得我是对的但不知道原因。”尽管爱因斯坦的五篇论文发表在一年的时间里，但他自童年开始就一直在深深地思考物理学。“在爱因斯坦家中，科学是餐桌上的谈话”Galison 解释到。艾伯特的父亲赫尔曼和叔叔雅各布奔跑于一家制造发电机，电弧灯，灯泡、电话的德国公司。这是世纪之交的高科技，“像现在一个在硅谷公司，”Galison 记录。“艾伯特对科技自然感兴趣。”
unit 5 Writing Three Thank-You Letters Alex Haley served in the Coast Guard during World War ll. On an especially lonely day to be at sea -- Thanksgiving Day -- he began to give serious thought to a holiday that has become, for many Americans, a day of overeating and watching endless games of football. Haley decided to celebrate the true meaning of Thanksgiving by writing three very special letters.
Writing Three Thank-You Letters
Alex Haley 1 It was 1943, during World War II, and I was a young U. S. coastguardsman. My ship, the USS Murzim, had been under way for several days. Most of her holds contained thousands of cartons of canned or dried foods. The other holds were loaded with five-hundred-pound bombs packed delicately in padded racks. Our destination was a big base on the island of Tulagi in the South Pacific.
2 I was one of the Murzim's several cooks and, quite the same as for folk ashore, this Thanksgiving morning had seen us busily preparing a traditional dinner featuring roast turkey.
3 Well, as any cook knows, it's a lot of hard work to cook and serve a big meal, and clean up and put everything away. But finally, around sundown, we finished at last.
4 I decided first to go out on the Murzim's afterdeck for a breath of open air. I made my way out there, breathing in great, deep draughts while walking slowly about, still wearing my white cook's hat.
5 I got to thinking about Thanksgiving, of the Pilgrims, Indians, wild turkeys, pumpkins, corn on the cob, and the rest. 我开始思索起感恩节这个节日来，想着清教徒前辈移民、印第安人、野火鸡、南瓜、玉米棒等等。
6 Yet my mind seemed to be in quest of something else -- some way that I could personally apply to the close of Thanksgiving. It must have taken me a half hour to sense that maybe some key to an answer could result from reversing the word "Thanksgiving" -- at least that suggested a verbal direction, "Giving thanks."
7 Giving thanks -- as in praying, thanking God, I thought. Yes, of course. Certainly.
8 Yet my mind continued turning the idea over.
9 After a while, like a dawn's brightening, a further answer did come -- that there were people to thank, people who had done so much for me that I could never possibly repay them. The embarrassing truth was I'd always just accepted what they'd done, taken all of it for granted. Not
one time had I ever bothered to express to any of them so much as a simple, sincere "Thank you."
10 At least seven people had been particularly and lastingly helpful to me. I realized, swallowing hard, that about half of them had since died -- so they were forever beyond any possible expression of gratitude from me. The more I thought about it, the more ashamed I became. Then I pictured the three who were still alive and, within minutes, I was down in my cabin.
11 Sitting at a table with writing paper and memories of things each had done, I tried composing genuine statements of heartfelt appreciation and gratitude to my dad, Simon A. Haley, a professor at the old Agricultural Mechanical Normal College in Pine Bluff, Arkansas; to my grandma, Cynthia Palmer, back in our little hometown of Henning, Tennessee; and to the Rev. Lonual Nelson, my grammar school principal, retired and living in Ripley, six miles north of Henning.
12 The texts of my letters began something like, "Here, this Thanksgiving at sea, I find my thoughts upon how much you have done for me, but I have never stopped and said to you how much I feel the need to thank you -- " And briefly I recalled for each of them specific acts performed on my behalf.
13 For instance, something uppermost about my father was how he had impressed upon me from boyhood to love books and reading. In fact, this graduated into a family habit of after-dinner quizzes at the table about books read most recently and new words learned. My love of books never diminished and later led me toward writing books myself. So many times I have felt a sadness when exposed to modern children so immersed in the electronic media that they have little or no awareness of the marvelous world to be discovered in books.
14 I reminded the Reverend Nelson how each morning he would open our little country town's grammar school with a prayer over his assembled students. I told him that whatever positive things I had done since had been influenced at least in part by his morning school prayers.
15 In the letter to my grandmother, I reminded her of a dozen ways she used to teach me how to tell the truth, to share, and to be forgiving and considerate of others. I thanked her for the years of eating her good cooking, the equal of which I had not found since. Finally, I thanked her simply for having sprinkled my life with stardust.
16 Before I slept, my three letters went into our ship's office mail sack. They got mailed when we reached Tulagi Island.
17 We unloaded cargo, reloaded with something else, then again we put to sea in the routine familiar to us, and as the days became weeks, my little personal experience receded. Sometimes, when we were at sea, a mail ship would rendezvous and bring us mail from home, which, of course, we accorded topmost priority.
18 Every time the ship's loudspeaker rasped, "Attention! Mail call!" two hundred-odd shipmates came pounding up on deck and clustered about the two seamen, standing by those precious bulging gray sacks. They were alternately pulling out fistfuls of letters and barking successive names of sailors who were, in turn, shouting back "Here! Here!" amid the pushing.
19 One "mail call" brought me responses from Grandma, Dad, and the Reverend Nelson -- and my reading of their letters left me not only astonished but more humbled than before.
20 Rather than saying they would forgive that I hadn't previously thanked them, instead, for Pete's sake, they were thanking me -- for having remembered, for having considered they had done anything so exceptional.
21 Always the college professor, my dad had carefully avoided anything he considered too sentimental, so I knew how moved he was to write me that, after having helped educate many young people, he now felt that his best results included his own son.
22 The Reverend Nelson wrote that his decades as a "simple, old-fashioned principal" had ended with schools undergoing such swift changes that he had retired in self-doubt. "I heard more of what I had done wrong than what I did right," he said, adding that my letter had brought him
welcome reassurance that his career had been appreciated.
23 A glance at Grandma's familiar handwriting brought back in a flash memories of standing alongside her white rocking chair, watching her "settin' down" some letter to relatives. Character by character, Grandma would slowly accomplish one word, then the next, so that a finished page would consume hours. I wept over the page representing my Grandma's recent hours invested in expressing her loving gratefulness to me -- whom she used to diaper!
24 Much later, retired from the Coast Guard and trying to make a living as a writer, I never forgot how those three "thank you" letters gave me an insight into how most human beings go about longing in secret for more of their fellows to express appreciation for their efforts.
25 Now, approaching another Thanksgiving, I have asked myself what will I wish for all who are reading this, for our nation, indeed for our whole world -- since, quoting a good and wise friend of mine, "In the end we are mightily and merely people, each with similar needs." First, I wish for us, of course, the simple common sense to achieve world peace, that being paramount for the very survival of our kind.
26 And there is something else I wish -- so strongly that I have had this line printed across the bottom of all my stationery: "Find the good -- and praise it."
Thanksgiving, like Spring Festival, brings families back together from across the country. Waiting for her children to arrive, Ellen Goodman reflects on the changing relationship between parents and children as they grow up and leave home, often to settle far away.
unit 6 The Last Leaf
When Johnsy fell seriously ill, she seemed to lose the will to hang on to life. The doctor held out little hope for her. Her friends seemed helpless. Was there nothing to be done?
The Last Leaf
1 At the top of a three-story brick building, Sue and Johnsy had their studio. "Johnsy" was familiar for Joanna. One was from Maine; the other from California. They had met at a cafe on Eighth Street and found their tastes in art, chicory salad and bishop sleeves so much in tune that the joint studio resulted.
2 That was in May. In November a cold, unseen stranger, whom the doctors called Pneumonia, stalked about the district, touching one here and there with his icy fingers. Johnsy was among his victims. She lay, scarcely moving on her bed, looking through the small window at the blank side of the next brick house.
3 One morning the busy doctor invited Sue into the hallway with a bushy, gray eyebrow.
4 "She has one chance in ten," he said. "And that chance is for her to want to live. Your little lady has made up her mind that she's not going to get well. Has she anything on her mind?
5 "She -- she wanted to paint the Bay of Naples some day," said Sue. “她――她想有一天能去画那不勒斯湾，”苏说。
6 "Paint? -- bosh! Has she anything on her mind worth thinking about twice -- a man, for instance?"
7 "A man?" said Sue. "Is a man worth -- but, no, doctor; there is nothing of the kind."
8 "Well," said the doctor. "I will do all that science can accomplish. But whenever my patient begins to count the carriages in her funeral procession I subtract 50 per cent from the curative power of medicines." After the doctor had gone Sue went into the workroom and cried. Then she marched into Johnsy's room with her drawing board, whistling a merry tune.
9 Johnsy lay, scarcely making a movement under the bedclothes, with her face toward the window. She was looking out and counting -- counting backward.
10 "Twelve," she said, and a little later "eleven"; and then "ten," and "nine"; and then "eight" and "seven," almost together.
11 Sue looked out of the window. What was there to count? There was only a bare, dreary
yard to be seen, and the blank side of the brick house twenty feet away. An old, old ivy vine climbed half way up the brick wall. The cold breath of autumn had blown away its leaves, leaving it almost bare.
12 "Six," said Johnsy, in almost a whisper. "They're falling faster now. Three days ago there were almost a hundred. It made my head ache to count them. But now it's easy. There goes another one. There are only five left now."
13 "Five what, dear? "
14 "Leaves. On the ivy vine. When the last one falls I must go, too. I've known that for three days. Didn't the doctor tell you?"
15 "Oh, I never heard of such nonsense. What have old ivy leaves to do with your getting well? Don't be so silly. Why, the doctor told me this morning that your chances for getting well real soon were ten to one! Try to take some soup now, and let Sudie go and buy port wine for her sick child."
16 "You needn't get any more wine," said Johnsy, keeping her eyes fixed out the window. "There goes another. No, I don't want any soup. That leaves just four. I want to see the last one fall before it gets dark. Then I'll go, too. I'm tired of waiting. I'm tired of thinking. I want to turn loose my hold on everything, and go sailing down, down, just like one of those poor, tired leaves."
17 "Try to sleep," said Sue. "I must call Behrman up to be my model for the old miner. I'll not be gone a minute."
18 Old Behrman was a painter who lived on the ground floor beneath them. He was past sixty and had a long white beard curling down over his chest. Despite looking the part, Behrman was a failure in art. For forty years he had been always about to paint a masterpiece, but had never yet begun it. He earned a little by serving as a model to those young artists who could not pay the price of a professional. He drank gin to excess, and still talked of his coming masterpiece. For the rest he was a fierce little old man, who mocked terribly at softness in any one, and who regarded himself as guard dog to the two young artists in the studio above.
19 Sue found Behrman smelling strongly of gin in his dimly lighted studio below. In one corner was a blank canvas on an easel that had been waiting there for twenty-five years to receive the first line of the masterpiece. She told him of Johnsy's fancy, and how she feared she would, indeed, light and fragile as a leaf herself, float away, when her slight hold upon the world grew weaker. Old Behrman, with his red eyes plainly streaming, shouted his contempt for such foolish imaginings.
20 "What!" he cried. "Are there people in the world foolish enough to die because leafs drop off from a vine? I have never heard of such a thing. Why do you allow such silly ideas to come into that head of hers? God! This is not a place in which one so good as Miss Johnsy should lie sick. Some day I will paint a masterpiece, and we shall all go away. Yes."
21 Johnsy was sleeping when they went upstairs. Sue pulled the shade down, and motioned Behrman into the other room. In there they peered out the window fearfully at the ivy vine. Then they looked at each other for a moment without speaking. A persistent, cold rain was falling, mingled with snow. Behrman, in his old blue shirt, took his seat as the miner on an upturned kettle for a rock.
22 When Sue awoke from an hour's sleep the next morning she found Johnsy with dull, wide-open eyes staring at the drawn green shade.
23 "Pull it up; I want to see," she ordered, in a whisper.
24 Wearily Sue obeyed.
25 But, Lo! after the beating rain and fierce wind that had endured through the night, there yet stood out against the brick wall one ivy leaf. It was the last on the vine. Still dark green near its stem, but with its edges colored yellow, it hung bravely from a branch some twenty feet above the ground.