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大学英语精读第一册第三版 unit8 课文英汉翻译

The boy was at first delighted to discover the present his mother had hidden away as his Christmas gift. But then he began to worry that his mother would now no longer have the pleasure of giving him a surprise. What was he to do?


Magician at Stretching a Dollar Russell Baker 1RT That December, with Christmas approaching, she was out at work and Doris was in the kitchen when I let myself into her bedroom one afternoon in search of a safety pin. Since her bedroom opened onto a community hallway, she kept the door locked, but needing the pin, I took the key from its hiding place, unlocked the door and stepped in. Standing against the wall was a big, black bicycle with balloon tires. I recognized it instantly. It was the same second-hand bike I'd been admiring in a Baltimore Street shop window. I'd even asked about the price. It was a shock. Something like $15. Somehow my mother had scraped together enough for a down payment and meant to surprise me with the bicycle on Christmas morning.


I was deeply moved by the discovery and yet sickened by the knowledge that, bursting into her room like this, I had robbed her of the pleasure of seeing me astonished and delighted on Christmas day. I hadn't wanted to know her lovely secret; still coming upon it like this made me feel as though I'd struck a blow against her happiness. I backed out, put the key back in its hiding place, and thought over what to do.


I decided that between now and Christmas I must do nothing, absolutely nothing, to reveal the slightest hint of my terrible knowledge. I must avoid the least word that might reveal my possession of her secret. Nothing must deny her the happiness of seeing me completely amazed on Christmas day.


In the privacy of my bedroom I began composing and testing exclamations of delight: "Wow!" "A bike with balloon tires! I don't believe it!" "I'm the luckiest boy alive!" And so on. They all owed a lot to movies in which boys like Mickey Rooney had seen their wildest dreams come true. I soon realized that, with my lack of acting talent, all of them were going to sound false at the critical moment when I wanted to cry out my love spontaneously from the heart. Maybe it would be better to say nothing but appear to be shocked into such deep pleasure that speech had escaped me. I wasn't sure, though. I'd seen speechless gratitude in the movies too, and it never really worked until the actors managed to cry a few quiet tears. I doubted I could cry on cue, so I began thinking about other expressions of speechless amazement. In front of a hand-held mirror in my bedroom I tried the whole range of expressions; mouth open and eyes wide; hands slapped firmly against both cheeks to keep the jaw from falling off; ear-to-ear grin with all teeth fully exposed while hugging myself with both arms. These and more I practiced for several days without acquiring confidence in any of them. I decided to wait until Christmas morning and see if anything came naturally ...


That Christmas morning she woke us early, "to see what Santa Claus brought," she said with just the right tone of voice to indicate we were all old enough to know who Santa Claus was. I came out of my bedroom with my present for her and Doris, and Doris came with hers. My mother's has been placed under the tree during the night. There were a few small brightly wrapped packages, a big doll for Doris, but no bicycle. I must have looked disappointed.


"It looks like Santa Claus didn't do too well by you this year, Buddy," she said, as I opened packages. A shirt. A necktie. I said something halfhearted like, "It's the thought that counts," but what I felt was bitter disappointment. I supposed she'd found the bike just too expensive and sent it back.


"Wait a minute!" she cried, snapping her fingers. "There's something in my bedroom I forgot all about."


She went out, and a moment later came back wheeling the big black two-wheeler with balloon tires. I didn't have to pretend, after all. The three of us –Doris, my mother, and I –were people bred to hold back emotional expressions of love, but I did something that startled both my mother and me. I threw my arms around her spontaneously and kissed her.


"All right now, don't carry on about it. It's only a bicycle," she said.


Still, I knew that she was as happy as I was to see her so happy.


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