新概念三课文

新概念三课文

Lesson1  A puma at large

Pumas are large, cat-like animals which are found in America. When reports came into London Zoo that a wild puma had been spotted forty-five miles south of London, they were not taken seriously. However, as the evidence began to accumulate, experts from the Zoo felt obliged to investigate, for the descriptions given by people who claimed to have seen the puma were extraordinarily similar.
The hunt for the puma began in a small village where a woman picking blackberries saw ‘a large cat’ only five yards away from her. It immediately ran away when she saw it, and experts confirmed that a puma will not attack a human being unless it is cornered(adj.被困得走投无路的). The search proved difficult, for the puma was often observed at one place in the morning and at another place twenty miles away in the evening. Wherever it went, it left behind it a trail of dead deer and small animals like rabbits. Paw prints were seen in a number of places and puma fur was found clinging to bushes. Several people complained of ‘cat-like noises’ at night and a businessman on a fishing trip saw the puma up a tree. The experts were now fully convinced that the animal was a puma, but where had it come from ? As no pumas had been reported missing from any zoo in the country, this one must have been in the possession of a private collector and somehow managed to escape. The hunt went on for several weeks, but the puma was not caught. It is disturbing to think that a dangerous wild animal is still at large in the quiet countryside.

美洲狮是一种体形似猫的大动物,产于美洲。当伦敦动物园接到报告说,在伦敦以南45英里处发现一只美洲狮时,这些报告并没有受到重视。可是,随着证据越来越多,动物园的专家们感到有必要进行一番调查,因为凡是声称见到过美洲狮的人们所描述的情况竟是出奇地相似。

搜寻美洲狮的工作是从一座小村庄开始的。那里的一位妇女在采摘黑莓时的看见“一只大猫”,离她仅5码远,她刚看见它,它就立刻逃走了。专家证实,美洲狮非被逼得走投无路,是决不会伤人的。事实上搜寻工作很困难,因为常常是早晨在甲地发现那只美洲狮,晚上却在20英里外的乙地发现它的踪迹。无论它走哪儿,一路上总会留下一串死鹿及死兔子之类的小动物,在许多地方看见爪印,灌木丛中发现了粘在上面的美洲狮毛。有人抱怨说夜里听见“像猫一样的叫声”;一位商人去钓鱼,看见那只美洲狮在树上。专家们如今已经完全肯定那只动物就是美洲狮,但它是从哪儿来的呢?由于全国动物园没有一家报告丢了美洲狮,因此那只美洲狮一定是某位私人收藏豢养的,不知怎么设法逃出来了。搜寻工作进行了好几个星期,但始终未能逮住那只美洲狮。想到在宁静的乡村里有一头危险的野兽继续逍遥流窜,真令人担心。

Lesson 2  Thirteen equals one

Our vicar is always raising money for one cause or another, but he has never managed to get enough money to have the church clock repaired. The big clock which used to strike the hours day and night was damaged many years ago and has been silent ever since.

One night, however, our vicar woke up with a start: the clock was striking the hours! Looking at his watch, he saw that it was one o’clock, but the bell struck thirteen times before it stopped. Armed with a torch, the vicar went up into the clock tower to see what was going on. In the torchlight, he caught sight of a figure whom he immediately recognized as Bill Wilkins, our local grocer.  ‘Whatever are you doing up here Bill ?’ asked the vicar in surprise.

‘I’m trying to repair the bell,’ answered Bill.’ I’ve been coming up here night after night for weeks now. You see, I was hoping to give you a surprise.’
‘You certainly did give me a surprise!’ said the vicar. ‘You’ve probably woken up everyone in the village as well. Still, I’m glad the bell is working again.’
‘That’s the trouble, vicar,’ answered Bill. ‘It’s working all right, but I’m afraid that at one o’clock it will strike thirteen times and there’s nothing I can do about it.’
‘We’ll get used to that Bill,’ said the vicar. ‘Thirteen is not as good as one but it’s better than nothing. Now let’s go downstairs and have a cup of tea.’

我们教区的牧师总是为各种各样的事筹集资金。但始终未能筹足资金把教堂的钟修好。教堂的钟很大,以前不分昼夜打点报时,但很多年前遭到毁坏,从此便无声无息了。

一天夜里,我们的牧师突然被惊醒了,大钟又在“打点”报时了!他一看表,才1点钟,可是那钟一边敲了13下才停。牧师拿着一支电筒走上钟楼想去看看究竟发生了什么事情。借着电筒光。他看见一个人,马上认出那是本地杂货店主经比尔.威尔金斯。

“你究竟在这上面干什么,比尔?”牧师惊讶地问。
“我想把这口钟修好,”比尔回答说。“好几个星期了,我天天夜里到钟楼上来。嗯,我是想让你大吃一惊。”
“你确实使我大吃了一惊!”牧师说,“也许同时你把村里所有的人都吵醒了。不过,钟又能报时了,我还是很高兴的。”
“问题就在这里,牧师,”比尔回答说。“不错,钟能报时了,但是,恐怕每到1点钟,它总要敲13下,对此我已无能为力了。”
“大家慢慢就习惯了,比尔,”牧师说。“13下是不如1下好,但总比1下也不敲强。来,咱们下楼去喝杯茶吧。”

 

Lesson 3 An unknown goddess

Some time ago,an interesting discovery was made by archaeologists on the Aegean(adj.爱琴海的;n.)island of Kea.An American team explored a temple which stands in an ancient city on the promontory of Ayia Irini.The city at one time must have been prosperous,for it enjoyed a high level of civilization.Houses–often three storeys high–were built of stone.They had large rooms with beautifully decorated walls.The city was even equipped with a drainage system,for a great many clay pipes were found beneath the narrow streets.
The temple which the archaeologists explored was used as a place of worship from the fifteenth century B.C. until Roman times. In the most sacred room of the temple, clay fragments of fifteen statues were found. Each of these represented  a goddess and had, at one time, been painted. The body of one statue was found among remains dating from the fifteenth century B.C. Its missing head happened to be among remains of the fifth century B.C. This head must have been found in Classical times and carefully preserved. It was very old and precious even then. When the archaeologists reconstructed the fragments, they were amazed to find that the goddess turned out to be a very modern-looking woman. She stood three feet high and her hands rested on her hip. She was wearing a full-length skirt which swept the ground. Despite her great age, she was very graceful indeed, but, so far, the archaeologists have been unable to discover her identity.

不久之前,在爱琴海的基亚岛上,考古工作者有一项有趣的发现。一个美国考古队在阿伊亚.依里尼海角的一座古城里考察了一座庙宇。这座古城肯定一度很繁荣,因为它曾享有高度的文明,房子一般有3层楼高,用石块修建。里面房间很大,墙壁装饰华丽。城里甚至还敷设了排水系统,因为在狭窄的街道底下发现了许许多多陶土制作的排水管道。

考古工作者考察的这座庙宇从公元前15世纪直到罗马时代一直是祭祀祈祷的场所。在庙中最神圣的一间殿堂里发现了15尊陶雕像的碎片。每一尊雕像代表一位女神,而且一度上过色。其中有一尊雕像,她的躯体是在公元前15世纪的历史文物中发现的,而她那身异处的脑袋却碰巧是在公元前5世纪的文物中找到的。她的脑袋一定是在古希腊罗马时代就为人所发现,并受到精心的保护。却使在当时,它也属历史悠久的珍奇之物。考古工作者把这些碎片重新拼装起来后,惊奇地发现那位女神原来是一位相貌十分摩登的女郎。她身高3英尺,双手叉腰。身穿一条拖地长裙,尽管上了年纪,但体态确实优美。不过,考古工作者至今未能确定这位女神的身份。

 

Lesson4 The double life of Alfred Bloggs

These days, people who do manual work often receive far more money than clerks who work in offices. People who work in offices are frequently referred to as’ white collar workers’ for the simple reason that they usually wear a collar and tie to go to work. Such is human nature, that a great many people are often willing to sacrifice higher pay for the privilege of becoming white collar workers. This can give rise to curious situations, as it did in the case of Alfred Bloggs who worked as a dustman for the Ellesmere Corporation.

When he got married, Alf was too embarrassed to say anything to his wife about his job. He simply told her that he worked for the Corporation. Every morning, he left home dressed in a smart black suit. He then changed into overalls (n.工作服) and spent the next eight hours as a dustman. Before returning home at night, he took a shower and changed back into his suit.  Alf did this for over two years and his fellow dustmen kept his secret. Alf’s wife has never discovered that she married a dustman and she  never will, for Alf has just found another job. He will soon be working in an office as a junior clerk. He will be earning only half as much as he used to, but he feels that his rise in status is well worth the loss of money. From now on, he will wear a suit all day and others will call him ‘Mr. Bloggs’, not ‘Alf’.

如今,从事体力劳动的人的收入一般要比坐办公室的人高出许多。坐办公室的之所以常常被称作“白领工人”,就是因为他们通常是穿着硬领白衬衫,系着领带去上班。许多人常常情愿放弃较高的薪水以换取做白领工人的殊荣,此乃人之常情。而这常常会引起种种奇怪的现象,在埃尔斯米尔公司当清洁工的艾尔弗雷德.布洛斯就是一个例子。

艾尔弗结婚时,感到非常难为情,而没有将自己的职业告诉妻子。他只说在埃尔斯米尔公司上班。每天早晨,他穿上一身漂亮的黑色西装离家上班,然后换上工作服,当8个小时清洁工。晚上回家前,他洗个淋浴,重新换上那身黑色西服。两年多以来,艾尔弗一直这样,他的同事也为他保守秘密。艾尔弗的妻子一直不知道她嫁给了一个清洁工,而且她永远也不会知道了,因为艾尔弗已找到薪职,不久就要坐办公室里工作了。他将来挣的钱只有他现在的一半。不过他觉得,地位升高了,损失点儿钱也值得。从此,艾尔弗可以一天到晚穿西服了。别人将称呼他为“布洛格斯先生”,而不再叫他“艾尔弗”了。

 

Lesson 5 The facts

Editors of newspapers and magazines often go to extremes to provide their readers with unimportant facts and statistics. Last year a journalist had been instructed by a well-known magazine to write an article on the president’s palace in a new African republic. When the article arrived, the editor read the first sentence and then refused to publish it. The article began: ‘Hundreds of steps lead to the high wall which surrounds the president’s palace.’ The editor at once
sent the journalist a fax instructing him to find out the exact number of steps and the height of the wall.

The journalist immediately set out to obtain these important facts, but he took a long time to send them. Meanwhile, the editor was getting impatient, for the magazine would soon go to press. He sent the journalist two urgent telegrams, but received no reply. He sent yet another telegram informing the journalist that if he did not reply soon he would be fired. When the journalist again failed to reply, the editor reluctantly published the article as it had originally been written. A week later, the editor at last received a telegram from the journalist. Not only had the poor man been arrested, but he had been sent to prison as well. However, he had at last been allowed to send a cable in which he informed the editor that he had been arrested while counting the 1084 steps leading to the 15-foot wall which surrounded the president’s palace.

报刊杂志的编辑常常为了向读者提供成立一些关紧要的事实和统计数字而走向极端。去年,一位记者受一家有名的杂志的委托写一篇关于非洲某个新成立共和国总统府的文章。稿子寄来后,编辑看第一句话就拒绝予以发表。文章的开头是这样的:“几百级台阶通向环绕总统的高墙。”编辑立即给那位记者发去传真,要求他核实一下台阶的确切数字和围墙的高度。

记者立即出发去核实这些重要的事实,但过了好长时间不见他把数字寄来,在此期间,编辑等得不耐烦了,因为杂志马上要付印。他给记者先后发去两份传真,但对方毫无反应。于是他又发了一份传真,通知那位记者说,若再不迅速答复,将被解雇。但记者还是没有回复。编辑无奈,勉强按原样发稿了。一周之后,编辑终于接到记者的传真。那个可怜的记者不仅被捕了,而且还被送进了监狱。不过,他终于获准发回了一份传真。在传真中他告诉编辑,就在他数通向15英尺高的总统府围墙的1,084级台阶时,被抓了起来。

 

Lesson 6  Smash-and-grab

The expensive shops in a famous arcade near Piccadilly were just opening. At this time of the morning, the arcade was almost empty. Mr Taylor, the owner of a jewellery shop was admiring a new window display. Two of his assistants had been working busily since 8 o’clock and had only just finished. Diamond necklaces and rings had been beautifully arranged on a background of black velvet. After gazing at the display for several minutes, Mr Taylor went back into his shop.

The silence was suddenly broken when a large car, with its headlights on and its horn blaring, roared down the arcade. It came to a stop outside the jeweler’s. One man stayed at the wheel while two others with black stockings over their faces jumped out and smashed the window of the shop with iron bars. While this was going on, Mr Taylor was upstairs. He and his staff began throwing furniture out of the window. Chairs and tables went flying into the arcade. One of the thieves was struck by a heavy statue, but he was too busy helping himself to diamonds to notice any pain. The raid was all over in three minutes, for the men scrambled back into the car and it moved off at a fantastic speed. Just as it was leaving, Mr Taylor rushed out and ran after it throwing ashtrays and vases, but it was impossible to stop the thieves. They had got away with thousands of pounds worth of diamonds.

皮卡迪利大街附近的一条著名拱廊街道上,几家高档商店刚刚开始营业。在早晨的这个时候,拱廊街上几乎空无一人。珠宝店主泰勒先生正在欣赏新布置的橱窗。他手下两名店员从早上8点就开始忙碌,这时刚刚布置完毕。钻石项链、戒指漂亮地陈列在黑色丝绒上面。泰勒先生站在橱窗外凝神欣赏了几分钟就回到了店里。

宁静突然被打破,一辆大轿车亮着前灯,响着喇叭,呼啸着冲进了拱廊街,在珠宝店门口停了下来。一人留在驾驶座上,另外两个用黑色长筒丝袜蒙面的人跳下车来。他们用铁棒把商店橱窗的玻璃砸碎。这开始发生时,泰勒先生正在楼上。他与店员动手向窗外投掷家具,椅子,桌子飞落花流水在拱廊街上。一个窃贼被一尊很重的雕像击中,但由于他忙着抢钻石首饰,竟连疼痛都顾不上了。这场抢劫只持续了3分钟,因为窃贼争先恐后地爬上轿车,以惊人的速度开跑了。就在轿车离开的时候,泰勒先生从店里冲了出来,跟在车后追赶,一边还往车上扔烟灰缸、花瓶。但他已无法抓住那些窃贼了。他们已带着价值数千镑的首饰逃之夭夭了。

 

Lesson 7 Mutilated ladies

Children often have far more sense than their elders. This simple truth was demonstrated rather dramatically during a civil defence exercise in a small town in Canada. Most of the inhabitants were asked to take part in the exercise during which they had to pretend that their city had been bombed. Air-raid warnings were sounded and thousands of people went into special air-raid shelters. Doctors and nurses remained above ground while Police patrolled the streets in case anyone tried to leave the shelters too soon.

The police did not have much to do because the citizens took the exercise seriously. They stayed underground for twenty minutes and waited for the siren to sound again. On leaving the air-raid shelters, they saw that doctors and nurses were busy. A great many people had volunteered to act as casualties. Theatrical make-up and artificial blood had been used to make the injuries look realistic. A lot of People were lying ‘dead’ in the streets. The living helped to carry the dead and wounded to special stations. A Child of six was brought in by two adults. The child was supposed to be dead. With theatrical make-up on his face, he looked as if he had died of shock. Some people were so moved by the sight that they began to cry. However, the child suddenly sat up and a doctor asked him to comment on his death. The child looked around for a moment and said, ‘I think they’re all crazy!’

这种事情在你身上出现过吗?你有没有把裤子塞洗衣机,然后又想在裤子的后兜有一张大面值的纸币?当你把裤子抢救出来时,你有没有发现那张纸币已经变得比白纸还白?当英国人犯这种错误时,他们不必感到绝望(而许多国家的人都有这种绝望的感觉)。对英国人来说,值得庆幸的是英国银行有一个残钞鉴别组,负责理那些把钱塞进机器或塞给狗的人提出的索赔要求。看起来,狗很喜欢咀嚼钱币。

最近的一个案例与简.巴特林有关,她的未婚夫约翰拥有一家生意兴隆家具店。有一天约翰的生意很好,他把一只装有3,000 英镑的钱包放进微波炉内保存。然后,他和简一起去骑马。回家后,简用微波炉煮了晚饭,无意中之中把她未婚夫的钱包也一起煮了。可以想像他们发现一只煮得很好看的钱包,钞票已化成灰时的沮丧心情。约翰去找银行经理,经理把约翰的钱包和纸币的残留物送到英国银行在纽卡斯尔的一个专门部门——残钞鉴别组。他们鉴定了这些残留物。约翰拿回了他损失的全部数额。“只要有东西可供识别,我们会把钱还给人家的,”银行的一位女发言人说。“去年,我们对21,000 起索赔要求支付了150万英镑。”

 

Lesson8  A famous monastery

The Great St Bernard Pass connects Switzerland to Italy. At 2470 metres, it is the highest mountain pass in Europe. The famous monastery of St Bernard, which was founded in the eleventh century, lies about a mile away. For hundreds of years, St Bernard dogs have saved the lives of travellers crossing the dangerous Pass. These friendly dogs, which were first brought from Asia, were used as watch-dogs even in Roman times. Now that a tunnel has been built through the mountains, the Pass is less dangerous, but each year, the dogs are still sent out into the snow whenever a traveller is in difficulty. Despite the new tunnel, there are still a few people who rashly  attempt to cross the Pass on foot.

During the summer months, the monastery is very busy, for it is visited by thousands of people who cross the Pass in cars, As there are so many people about, the dogs have to be kept in a special enclosure. In winter, however, life at the monastery is quite different. The temperature drops to -30 and very few people attempt to cross the Pass. The monks Prefer winter to summer for they have more privacy. The dogs have greater freedom, too, for they are allowed to wander outside their enclosure. The only regular visitors to the monastery in winter are parties of skiers who go there at Christmas and Easter. These young people, who love the peace of the mountains, always receive a warm.
Welcome at St Bernard’s monastery.

圣伯纳德大山口连接着瑞士与意大利,海拔2,473O米,是欧洲最高的山口。11世纪建造的著名的圣伯纳德修道院位于离山口1英里远的地方。几百年来,圣伯纳德修道院驯养狗拯救了许多翻越这道山口的旅游者的生命。那些最先从亚洲引进的狗,待人友好,早在罗马时代就给人当看门狗了。如今由于山里开挖了隧道,翻越山口已不那么危险了。但每年还要派狗到雪山地里去帮助那些遇到困难的旅游者,尽管修通了隧道,但仍有一些人想冒险徒步跨越圣伯纳德山口。

夏天的几个月里,修道院十分忙碌,因为有成千上万的人驾车通过山口,顺道来修道院参观。由于来人太多,狗被关在专门的围栏里。然而到了冬天,修道院里的生活则是另一番景象。气温下降到零下30度,试图跨越山口的人寥寥无几。修道士们喜欢冬天,而不太喜欢夏天。因为在冬天,他们可以更多地过无人打扰的生活。狗也比较自由,被放出围栏,四处遛达。冬天常来修道院参观的只有一批批滑雪者。他们在圣诞节或复活节到那儿去。这些热爱高山清静环境的年轻人每年都受到圣伯纳德道院的热烈欢迎。

 

Lesson9 Flying cats
飞猫

Cats never fail to fascinate human beings. They can be friendly and affectionate towards humans, but they lead mysterious lives of their own as well. They never become submissive like dogs and horses. As a result, humans have learned to respect feline independence. Most cats remain suspicious of humans all their lives. One of the things that fascinates us most about cats is the popular belief that they have nine lives. Apparently, they is a good deal of truth in this idea. A cat’s ability to survive falls is based on fact.
Recently the New York Animal Medical Centre made a study of 132 cats over a period of five months. All these cats had one experience in common: they had fallen off high buildings, yet only eight of them died from shock or injuries. Of course, New Yorkis the ideal place for such an interesting study, because there is no shortage of tall buildings. There are plenty of high-rise windowsills to fall from! One cat, Sabrina, fell 32 storeys, yet only suffered from a broken tooth. ‘ Cats behave like well-trained paratroopers,’ a doctor said. It seems that the further cats fall, the less they are likely to injure themselves. In a long drop, they reach speeds of 60 miles an hour and more. At high speeds, falling cats have time to relax. They stretch out their legs like flying squirrel. This increases their air-resistance and reduces the shock of impact when they hit the ground.

猫总能引起人们的极大兴趣。它们可以对人友好,充满柔情。但是,它们又有自己神秘的生活方式。它们从不像狗和马一样变得那么顺从。结果是人们已经学会尊重猫的独立性。在它们的一生中,大多数猫都对人存有戒心。最使我们感兴趣的一件事情就是一种通俗的信念——猫有九条命。显然,这种说法里面包含着许多真实性。猫在跌落时能够大难不死是有事实作为依据的。
最近,纽约动物医疗中心对132只猫进行了为期5个月的综合研究。所有这些猫有一个共同的经历:它们都曾从高层建筑上摔下来过,但只有其中的8只猫死于震荡或跌伤。当然,纽约是进行这种有趣的试验的一个理想的地方,因为那里根本不缺乏高楼大厦,有的是高层的窗槛从上往下坠落。有一只叫萨伯瑞的猫从32层楼上掉下来,但只摔断一颗牙。“猫就像训练有素的跳伞队员,” 一位医生说。看起来,猫跌落的距离越长,它们就越不会伤害自己。在一个长长的跌落过程中,它们可以达到每小时60里甚至更快的速度。在高速下落中,猫有时间放松自己。它们伸展四肢,就像飞行中的松鼠一样。这样就加大了空气阻力,并减少了它们着地时冲击力带来的震动。
Lesson10 The loss of Titanic
The great ship, Titanic, sailed for New York from Southampton on April 10th, 1912. She was carrying 1316 passengers and a crew of 89l. Even by modern standards, the 46,000 ton Titanic was a colossal ship. At that time, however, she was not only the largest ship that had ever been built, but was regarded as unsinkable, for she had sixteen water- tight compartments. Even if two of these were flooded, she would still be able to float. The tragic sinking of this great liner will always be remembered, for she went down on her first voyage with heavy loss of life.
Four days after setting out, while the Titanic was sailing across the icy waters of the North Atlantic, a huge iceberg was suddenly spotted by a look-out. After the alarm had been given, the great ship turned sharply to avoid a direct collision. The Titanic turned just in time, narrowly missing the immense wall of ice which rose over 100 feet out of the water beside her. Suddenly, there was a slight trembling sound from below, and the captain went down to see what had happened. The noise had been so faint that no one thought that the ship had been damaged. Below, the captain realized to his horror that the Titanic was sinking rapidly, for five of her sixteen water-
tight compartments had already been flooded ! The order to abandon ship was given and hundreds of people plunged into the icy water. As there were not enough life-boats for everybody, 1500 lives were lost.

巨轮“泰坦尼克”号1912年4月10日从南安普敦起锚驶向纽约。船上载有1,316名乘客与891名船员。却使用现代标准来衡量,45,000 吨的“泰坦尼克”号与算得上一艘巨轮了。当时,这艘轮船不仅是造船史上建造的最大的一艘船,而且也被认为是不会沉没的。因为船由16个密封舱组成,即使有两个舱进水,仍可漂浮的水面上。然而,这艘巨轮首航就下沉,造成大批人员死亡。人们将永远记着这艘巨轮的沉没惨剧。
“泰坦尼克”起航后的第4天,它正行驶在北大西洋冰冷的海面上。突然,了望员发现一座冰山。警报响过不久,巨轮急转弯,以避免与冰山正面相撞。“泰坦尼克”这个弯拐得及时,紧贴着高出海面100英尺的巨大的冰墙擦过去。突然,从船舱下部传来一声微颤音,船长走下船舱去查看究竟。由于这个声音非常轻,没人会想到船身已遭损坏。在下面,船长惊恐的地发现“泰坦尼克”号正在急速下沉,16个密封舱已有5个进水。于是,他发出弃船的命令,几百人跳进了冰冷刺骨的海水里。由于没有足够的救生艇运载所有乘客,结果,1,500 人丧生。

Lesson11 Not guilty
Going through the Customs is a tiresome business. The strangest thing about it is that really honest people are often made to feel guilty. The hardened professional smuggler, on the other hand, is never troubled by such feelings, even if he has five hundred gold watches hidden in his suitcase. When I returned from abroad recently, a particularly officious young Customs Officer clearly regarded me as a smuggler.
‘Have you anything to declare?’ he asked, looking me in the eye.
‘No,’ I answered confidently.
‘Would you mind unlocking this suitcase please ?’
‘Not at all,’ I answered.
The Officer went through the case with great care. All the things I had packed so carefully were soon in a dreadful mess. I felt sure I would never be able to close the case again. Suddenly, I saw the Officer’s face light up. He had spotted a tiny bottle at the bottom of my case and he pounced on it with delight.
‘Perfume, eh?’ he asked sarcastically. ‘You should have declared that.’ Perfume is not exempt from import duty.’
‘But it isn’t perfume,’ I said.’ It’s hair-oil.’ Then I added with a smile,’ It’s a strange mixture I make myself.’ As I expected, he did not believe me.
‘Try it!’ I said encouragingly.
The Officer unscrewed the cap and put the bottle to his nostrils. He was greeted by an unpleasant smell which convinced him that I was telling the truth. A few minutes later, I was able to hurry away with precious chalk-marks on my baggage.
现在的海关官员往往相当宽容。但是,当你通过绿色通道,没有任何东西需要申报时,他们仍可以拦住你。甚至是最诚实的人也常弄得觉得有罪似的,而老练的职业走私犯却使手提箱里藏着500只金表,却也处之泰然。最近一次,我也出国归来,碰上一位特别好管闲事的年轻海关官员,他显然把我当成走私犯。
“您有什么需要申报的吗?”他直盯着我的眼睛问。
“没有。”我自信地回答说。
“请打开这只手提箱好吗?”
“好的。”我回答说。
那位官员十分仔细地把箱子检查了一遍。所有细心包装好的东西一会儿工夫就乱成一团。我相信那箱子再也关不上了。突然,我看到官员脸上露出了得意的神色。他在我的箱底发现了一只小瓶,高兴地一把抓了起来。
“香水,嗯?”他讥讽地说道,“你刚才应该申报,香水要上进口税的。”
“不,这不是香水,”我说,“是发胶。”接着我脸带微笑补充说:“这是一种我自己配制的奇特的混合物。”
“你就闻一闻吧!”我催促说。
海关官员拧开瓶盖,把瓶子放到鼻子底下。一股怪味袭来,使他相信了我说的真话。几分钟后,我终于被放行,手提划着宝贵的粉笔记号的行李,匆匆离去。
Lesson12 Life on a desert island
Most of us have formed an unrealistic picture of life on a desert island. We sometimes imagine a desert island to be a sort of paradise where the sun always shines. Life there is simple and good.
Ripe fruit falls from the trees and you never have to work. The other side of the picture is quite the opposite. Life on a desert island is wretched. You either starve to death or live like Robinson Crusoe, waiting for a boat which never comes. Perhaps there is an element of truth in both these pictures, but few of us have had the opportunity to find out.
Two men who recently spent five days on a coral island wished they had stayed there longer. They were taking a badly damaged boat from the Virgin Islands to Miami to have it repaired. During the journey, their boat began to sink. They quickly loaded a small rubber dinghy with food, matches, and tins of beer and rowed for a few miles across the Caribbean until they arrived at a tiny coral island. There were hardly any trees on the island and there was no water, but this did not prove to be a problem. The men collected rain-water in the rubber dinghy. As they had brought a spear gun with them, they had plenty to eat. They caught lobster and fish every day, and, as one of them put it ‘ate like kings’. When a passing tanker rescued them five days later, both men were genuinely sorry that they had to leave.
我们许多人对于荒岛生活有一种不切实际的想法。我们有时想象荒岛是阳光终日普照的天堂。在那里,生活简单又美好。成熟的水果从树上掉下来,人们根本无需劳动。另一种想法恰恰相反,认为荒岛生活很可怕,要么饿死,要么像鲁滨孙那样,天天盼船来,却总没见船影。也许,这两种都像都有可信之处。但很少有人能有机会