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最后的藤叶(英语版)第三部分

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发表于 2011-5-19 01:01:00 | 显示全部楼层 |阅读模式
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curative power of medicines. If you will get her to ask one question about the new winter styles in cloak sleeves I will promise you a one-in-five chance for her, instead of one in ten." fficeffice" />

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  After the doctor had gone Sue went into the workroom and cried a Japanese napkin to a pulp. Then she swaggered into Johnsy's room with her drawing board, whistling ragtime.

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  Johnsy lay, scarcely making a ripple under the bedclothes, with her face toward the window. Sue stopped whistling, thinking she was asleep.

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  She arranged her board and began a pen-and-ink drawing to illustrate a magazine story. Young artists must pave their way to Art by drawing pictures for magazine stories that young authors write to pave their way to Literature.

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  As Sue was sketching a pair of elegant horseshow riding trousers and a monocle of the figure of the hero, an Idaho cowboy, she heard a low sound, several times repeated. She went quickly to the bedside.

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  Johnsy's eyes were open wide. She was looking out the window and counting - counting backward.

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  "Twelve," she said, and little later "eleven"; and then "ten," and "nine"; and then "eight" and "seven", almost together.

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  Sue look solicitously 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, gnarled and decayed at the roots, climbed half way up the brick wall. The cold breath of autumn had stricken its leaves from the vine until its skeleton branches clung, almost bare, to the crumbling bricks.

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  "What is it, dear?" asked Sue.

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  "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."

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  "Five what, dear? Tell your Sudie."

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  "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?"

发表于 2011-5-21 05:51:00 | 显示全部楼层
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医生离去之后,苏艾到工作室里哭了一场,把一张日本纸餐巾擦得一团糟。然后,她拿起画板,吹着爵士调子,昂首阔步地走进琼珊的房间。 fficeffice" />

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琼珊躺在被窝里,脸朝着窗口,一点儿动静也没有。苏艾以为她睡着了,赶紧停止吹口哨。

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她架起画板,开始替杂志画一幅短篇小说的钢笔画插图。青年画家不得不以杂志小说的插图来铺平通向艺术的道路,而这些小说则是青年作家为了铺平文学道路而创作的。

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苏艾正为小说里的主角,一个爱达荷州的牧人,画上一条在马匹展览会里穿的漂亮的马裤和一片单眼镜,忽然听到一个微弱的声音重复了几遍。她赶紧走到床边。

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琼珊的眼睛睁得大大的。她望着窗外,在计数——倒数上来。

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“十二,”她说,过了一会儿,又说“十一”;接着是“十”、“九”;再接着是几乎连在一起的“八”和“七”。

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苏艾关切地向窗外望去。有什么可数的呢?外面见到的只是一个空荡荡、阴沉沉的院子,和二十英尺外的一幛砖屋的墙壁。一株极老极老的常春藤,纠结的根已经枯萎,攀在半墙上。秋季的寒风把藤上的叶子差不多全吹落了,只剩下几根几乎是光秃秃的藤枝依附在那堵松动残缺的砖墙上。

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“怎么回事,亲爱的?”苏艾问道。

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“六。”琼珊说,声音低得像是耳语,“它们现在掉得快些了。三天前差不多有一百片。数得我头昏眼花。现在可容易了。喏,又掉了一片。只剩下五片了。”

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“五片什么,亲爱的?告诉你的苏艾。”

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“叶子,常春藤上的叶子。等最后一片掉落下来,我也得去了。三天前我就知道了。难道大夫没有告诉你吗?”
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