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frugal/['fru:ɡəl]/ a. 节俭的, 朴素的...

一双丝袜 A Pair of Silk Stockings

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Little Mrs. Sommers one day found herself the unexpected owner of fifteen dollars. It seemed to her a very large amount of money. The way it filled up her worn money holder gave her a feeling of importance that she had not enjoyed for years.

  一天,身材娇小的萨默斯太太意外地捡到十五美元。这对她来说算是一笔可观的财富了。这些钱把萨默斯太太那破旧的钱夹撑得鼓鼓的,她觉得自己仿佛成了一位重要人物——她已经有许多年未曾体会过这种滋味了。

  The question of investment was one she considered carefully. For a day or two she walked around in a dreamy state as she thought about her choices. She did not wish to act quickly and do anything she might regret.

  她要好好思量如何使用这笔钱。这一两天来,她一直恍恍惚惚,来回踱步,思考着各种选择。她可不愿意冲动行事,以免做出一些会让自己后悔的事情。

  A dollar or two could be added to the price she usually paid for her daughter Janie’s shoes. This would guarantee they would last a great deal longer than usual. She would buy cloth for new shirts for the boys. Her daughter Mag should have another dress. And still there would be enough left for new stockings—two pairs per child. The idea of her little family looking fresh and new for once in their lives made her restless with excitement.

  只要再掏一两美元就能凑足她平时给女儿贾妮买鞋子的钱,这对鞋子一定比平常买的更耐穿。她可以给儿子们买布缝制新衬衫。女儿麦格也该买条裙子了。剩下的钱足够买几双新袜子——每个孩子两双。让全家人生平第一次打扮一新,这想法使她兴奋得坐立不安。

  Mrs. Sommers knew the value of finding things for sale at reduced prices. But that day she was tired and a little bit weak. When she arrived at the large department store, she sat in front of an empty counter. She rested her hand upon the counter.

  萨默斯太太深知寻找降价销售的物品有多重要。但是那天她非常疲惫,也有点虚弱。她来到大型百货商店,坐在一个空柜台前,一只手搁在柜台上。

  She wore no gloves. She slowly grew aware that her hand had felt something very pleasant to touch. She looked down to see that her hand lay upon a pile of silk stockings. A young girl who stood behind the counter asked her if she wished to examine the silky leg coverings.

  她没有戴手套。她慢慢意识到自己的手摸到了一些触感很舒服的东西。她低下头,看到自己的手正放在一堆丝袜上面。站在柜台后面的年轻女孩问她是否想看看这些丝质袜子。

  She smiled as if she had been asked to inspect diamond jewelry with the aim of purchasing it. But she went on feeling the soft, costly items. Now she used both hands, holding the stockings up to see the light shine through them.

  她笑了,仿佛她要买的是钻石首饰,别人请她查看珠宝似的。她继续抚摸着这轻柔而昂贵的商品,用双手举起袜子,欣赏光线闪耀其间。

  Mrs. Sommers chose a black pair and looked at them closely.

  萨默斯太太挑了一双黑色的丝袜,仔细检查。

  “A dollar and ninety-eight cents,” she said aloud. “Well, I will buy this pair.”

  “一美元九十八美分,”她大声说。“我要买这双。”

  She handed the girl a five dollar bill and waited for her change and the wrapped box with the stockings. What a very small box it was! It seemed lost in her worn, old shopping bag.

  她递给售货员一张五美元的钞票,静心等待找零和装好袜子的包装盒。这盒子真小啊!它在萨默斯太太那老旧的购物袋里仿佛不见了踪影。

  Mrs. Sommers then took the elevator which carried her to an upper floor into the ladies’ rest area. In an empty corner, she replaced her cotton stockings for the new silk ones.

  萨默斯太太随后搭乘电梯来到位于稍高楼层的女士休息区。在一个没有人的角落,她脱下棉袜子,换上新买的丝袜。

  For the first time she seemed to be taking a rest from the tiring act of thought. She had let herself be controlled by some machine-like force that directed her actions and freed her of responsibility.

  这似乎是她平生第一次因为厌倦了思考而停歇下来。她让自己受控于某种机械力量,这股力量让她做出这一系列举动,将她从日常责任中释放出来。

  How good was the touch of the silk on her skin! She felt like lying back in the soft chair and enjoying the richness of it. She put her shoes back on and put her old stockings into her bag. Next, she went to the shoe department, sat down and waited to be fitted.

  丝绸贴在皮肤上的感觉真好!她真想就这样躺在柔软的椅子上,尽情享受那种浓厚的细腻感。她穿上鞋子,把旧袜子装进袋子里。接着,她走到皮鞋部,坐下来等待试穿。

  She tried on a pair of new boots.

  她试穿了一双新靴子。

  She held back her skirts and turned her feet one way and her head another way as she looked down at the shiny, pointed boots. Her foot and ankle looked very lovely. She could not believe that the

y were a part of herself.

  她把裙子捋到身后,将双脚转到一边,头则转到另一边,低头看着这对闪闪发光的尖头靴子。她的小脚和脚踝看起来非常漂亮,她简直不敢相信它们是自己身体的一部分。

  After buying the new boots, she went to the glove department. It was a long time since Mrs. Sommers had been fitted with gloves. When she had bought a pair they were always “bargains,” so cheap that it would have been unreasonable to have expected them to be fitted to her hands.

  买了新靴子之后,她来到了手套部。萨默斯太太已经很久没有戴过尺寸刚好的手套了。她以前买的手套全都是“便宜货”,廉价得根本不必指望它们的尺码能适合她的双手。

  A young shop girl drew a soft, leather glove over Mrs. Sommers’ hand. She smoothed it down over the wrist and buttoned it neatly. Both women lost themselves for a second or two as they quietly praised the little gloved hand.

  一位年轻的女售货员把一只柔软的皮手套戴在萨默斯太太的手上,然后往手腕位置将其理顺,并整齐地扣上纽扣。有那么一两秒钟,这两位女士都全神贯注地静静赞叹着这只戴着手套的纤纤玉手。

  She lifted her skirts as she crossed the street. Her new stockings and boots and gloves had worked wonders[产生神奇作用] for her appearance. They had given her a feeling of satisfaction, a sense of belonging to the well-dressed crowds.

  穿过街道时,她轻轻地提起裙摆。她的新袜子、新靴子和新手套让她的装扮产生了神奇的效果。它们带给她一种满足感,她觉得自己也成了衣着光鲜一族。

  She was very hungry. Another time she would have ignored the desire for food until reaching her own home. But the force that was guiding her would not permit her to act on such a thought.

  她感到饥肠辘辘。以前,她准会忽略掉进食的欲望,忍着饥饿直到回家。但是那股引导着她的力量是绝不会允许她这么做的。

  There was a restaurant at the corner. She had noted the white table cloths, shining glasses and waiters serving wealthy people.

  街道转角处有一家餐厅。她注意到里面的白色桌布和闪亮光洁的玻璃杯,侍应正为富人们提供服务。

  When she entered, her appearance created no surprise or concern, as she had half feared it might.

  走进餐厅时,她的外表并没有引起吃惊或关注——尽管她先前还有点担心。

  She seated herself at a small table. A waiter came at once to take her order. While waiting to be served she removed her gloves very slowly and set them beside her.

  她在一张小餐桌前坐了下来。一位侍应立刻过来为她点餐。等待上菜的时候,她将手套慢慢脱下,放在身旁。

  It was all very agreeable. The table cloths were even more clean and white than they had seemed through the window. And the crystal drinking glasses shined even more brightly. There were ladies and gentlemen, who did not notice her, lunching at the small tables like her own.

  这里的一切都让人心旷神怡。桌布比隔着玻璃窗看到的还要洁白干净,水晶酒杯也格外闪亮夺目。许多淑女与绅士在跟她一样的小餐桌上享用午餐,对她毫不在意。

  A pleasing piece of music could be heard, and a gentle wind was blowing through the window. She tasted a bite, and she slowly drank the wine. She moved her toes around in the silk stockings. The price of it all made no difference.

  餐厅里传来一段美妙的音乐,一阵微风透过窗户吹了进来。她尝了一口菜,缓缓地啜饮着红酒。她在丝袜里转动着脚趾头。这一切的昂贵价格根本不算什么。

  When she was finished, she counted the money out to the waiter and left an extra coin on his tray[托盘]. He bowed to her as if she were a princess of royal blood.

  饭后,她把餐费如数给了侍应,还在他的盘子里多放了一枚硬币。他像对待拥有皇室血统的公主般朝她欠了欠身,表示感谢。

  It was like a dream ended. Mrs. Sommers went to wait for the cable car.

  一切如梦境般结束。萨默斯太太走去车站等候电缆车。

  A man with sharp eyes sat opposite her. It was hard for him to fully understand what he saw in her expression. In truth, he saw nothing—unless he was a magician. Then he would sense her heartbreaking wish that the cable car would never stop anywhere, but go on and on with her forever.

  一位目光敏锐的男士坐在她对面。他很难理解她脸上的表情。事实上,他什么也看不出来——除非他是一名魔术师,才能感受到她那让人心碎的期许——她多么希望电缆车永远不会靠站,就这样搭载着她永远地行驶下去。
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