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黑衣女人英文短篇小说

微小说 时间:2018-12-22 我要投稿
【www.accountentando.com- 微小说】

  The house was very still. In the little room over the porch, the lady in black sat alone. Near her, a child's white dress lay across a chair. On the floor at her feet lay a tiny pair of shoes. A doll hung over a chair and a toy soldier occupied the little stand by the bed.

  And everywhere was silence-the strange silence that comes only to a room where the clock has stopped ticking.

  The clock stood on the shelf near the end of the bed. The Lady in Black looked at it. She remembered the wave of anger that had come over her when she had reached out her hand and silenced the clock that night three months before.

  It had been silent ever since and it should remain silent, too. Of what possible use were the hours it would tick away now? As if anything mattered, with little Kathleen lying out there white and still under the black earth!

  "Muvver!"

  The Lady in Black moved restlessly and looked toward the closed door. Behind it, she knew, was a little boy with wide blue eyes who wanted her. But she wished he would not call her by that name.

  It only reminded her of those other little lips--silent now.

  "Muvver!" The voice was more demanding.

  The Lady in Black did not answer. He might go away, she thought, if she did not answer.

  There was a short silence, and then the door opened slowly.

  "Pe-eek!" It was a cry of joyful discovery, but it was followed almost immediately by silence. The unsmiling woman did not invite him to come near. The boy was unsteady at his first step.

  He paused, then spoke carefully, "I's--here."

  It was maybe the worst thing he could have said. To the Lady in Black it was a yet more painful reminder of that other one who was not there. She gave a sharp cry and covered her face with her hands.

  "Bobby, Bobby" she cried out, in a release of unreasoning sadness. "Go away! Go away! I want to be alone--alone!"

  All the brightness fled from the boy's face. His eyes showed a feeling of deep hurt. He waited, but she did not move. Then, with a half-quieted cry, he left the room.

  Long minutes afterward, the Lady in Black raised her head and saw him through the window. He was in the yard with his father, playing under the apple tree.

  Playing!

  The Lady in Black looked at them with serious eyes, and her mouth hardened at the corners.

  Bobby had someone to play with him, someone to love him and care for him, while out there on the hillside Kathleen was alone--all alone.

  With a little cry the Lady in Black sprang to her feet and hurried into her own room. Her hands shook as she pinned on her hat and covered herself with her black veil. But her step was firm as she walked downstairs and out through the hall.

  The man under the apple tree rose hurriedly and came forward.

  "Helen, dearest,--not again, today!" he begged. "Darling, it can't do any good!"

  "But she's alone--all alone. You don't seem to think! No one thinks--no one knows how I feel. You don't understand. If you did, you'd come with me. You wouldn't ask me to stay--here!" choked the woman.

  "I have been with you, dear," said the man gently. "I've been with you today, and every day, almost, since--since she left us.

  But it can't do any good--this continuous mourning over her grave.

  It only makes more sadness for you, for me, and for Bobby. Bobby is--here, you know, dear!"

  "No, no, don't say it," cried the woman wildly. "You don't understand! You don't understand!" And she turned and hurried away, followed by the worried eyes of the man, and the sad eyes of the boy.

  It was not a long walk to the burial place. The Lady in Black knew the way. Yet, she stumbled and reached out blindly. She fell before a little stone marked "Kathleen." Near her a gray-haired woman, with her hands full of pink and white roses, watched her sympathetically. The gray-haired woman paused and opened her lips as if she would speak. Then she turned slowly and began to arrange her flowers on a grave nearby.

  The Lady in Black raised her head. For a time she watched in silence. Then she threw back her veil and spoke, “You care, too," she said softly. "You understand. I've seen you here before, I'm sure. And was yours --a little girl?"

  The gray-haired woman shook her head. “No, dearie, it's a little boy--or he was a little boy forty years ago."

  "Forty years--so long! How could you have lived forty years--without him?"

  Again the little woman shook her head."One has to--sometimes, dearie, but this little boy wasn't mine.

  "But you care. You understand. I've seen you here so often before."

  "Yes. You see, there's no one else to care. But there was once, and I'm caring now, for her sake."

  "For her?"

  "His mother."

  "Oh-h!" It was a tender little cry, full of quick sympathy. The eyes of the Lady in Black were on the stone marked "Kathleen."

  "It ain't as if I didn't know how she'd feel," said the gray-haired woman. "You see, I was nurse to the boy when it happened, and for years afterward I worked in the family. So I know. I saw the

  whole thing from the beginning, from the very day when the little boy here met with the accident."

  "Accident!" It was a cry of concern and sympathy from Kathleen's mother.

  "Yes. It was a runaway and he didn't live two days."

  "I know! I know!" choked the Lady in Black. Yet she was not thinking of the boy and the runaway horse accident.

  "Things stopped then for my mistress," continued the little gray-haired woman, "and that was the beginning of the end. She had a husband and a daughter, but they didn't seem to be important—not either of 'em. Nothin' seemed important except this little grave out here. She came and spent hours over it, bringin' flowers and talkin' to it."

  The Lady in Black raised her head suddenly and quickly looked into the woman's face. The woman went on speaking.

  "The house got sadder and sadder, but she didn't seem to mind. She seemed to want it so. She shut out the sunshine and put away many of the pictures. She sat only in the boy's room. And

  there, everything was just as it was when he left it. She wouldn't let a thing be touched. I wondered afterward that she didn't see where it was all leadin' to, but she didn't."

  "'Leading to'?" The voice shook.

  "Yes. I wondered she didn't see she was losin' 'em--that husband and daughter; but she didn't see it."

  The Lady in Black sat very still. Even the birds seemed to have stopped their singing. Then the gray-haired woman spoke:

  "So, you see, that's why I come and put flowers here. It's for her. There's no one else now to care," she sighed, rising to her feet.

  "But you haven't told yet--what happened," said the Lady in Black, softly.

  "I don't know myself really. I know the man went away. He got somethin' to do travelin' so he wasn't home much. When he did come he looked sick and bad. He come less and less, and he died. But that was after she died. He's buried over there beside her and the boy. The girl --well, nobody knows where the girl is. Girls like flowers and sunshine and laughter and young people, you know, and she didn't get any of them at home. So she went--where she did get 'em, I suppose.

  "There, and if I haven't gone and tired you all out with my talkin'!" said the little gray-haired woman regretfully.

  "No, no. I was glad to hear it," said the Lady in Black, rising unsteadily to her feet. Her face had grown white, and her eyes showed a sudden fear. "But I must go now. Thank you." And she turned and hurried away.

  The house was very still when the Lady in Black reached home. She shivered at its silence. She hurried up the stairs, almost with guilt. In her own room she pulled at the dark veil that covered her face. She was crying now, a choking little cry with broken words running through it. She was still crying as she removed her black dress.

  Long minutes later, the Lady--in black no longer--moved slowly down the stairway. Her eyes showed traces of tears, but her lips were bravely curved in a smile. She wore a white dress and a single white rose in her hair. Behind her, in the little room over the porch, a tiny clock ticked loudly on its shelf near the end of the bed.

  There came a sound of running feet in the hall below, then:

  "Muvver!--it's Muvver come back!" shouted a happy voice.

  And with a little sobbing cry Bobby's mother opened her arms to her son.

  译文:

  房子很静。门廊那边的小房间里,有位穿黑色衣服的女士独自坐着。在她旁边,一件白色的童装搭在椅子上。在她脚下的地板上放着一双小鞋子。一个洋娃娃悬挂在椅子上,一只士兵玩具放在床上的一角。

  每处都很寂静-时钟停止了滴答,对于一间房间来说这么静太奇怪了。

  时钟放在床尾的书架上。穿黑色衣服的女人看着它。她记起三个月前的那天晚上,当愤怒的浪涛袭向他的时候,她伸出手关掉了时钟。

  从那以后房间里静了下来,它也应该继续静下去。它可能的用处就是滴答滴答地报时?仿佛任何事情都和身着白色衣服静静地躺在地下的小凯思林有关。

  “妈妈!”

  黑衣女人不安地动了一下,看向关着的门。她知道在那后面有个想看她的有着蓝色大眼睛的小男孩。但是她不希望他叫她那个名字。那只会使她想起其他的小孩—现在已经安静了。

  “妈妈!”那个声音更大了。

  黑衣女人没有应答。她想如果她不应答,他可能离开。

  短暂的寂静过后,门慢慢地打开了。

  “呀!”一种高兴地发现某样东西后的喊叫,随后是寂静。面无笑容的女人没有让他靠近。男孩第一步很小心,然后停住了,小心的说,:“在这里。”

  这可能是他说过的最坏的事情。对于黑衣女人来说,使她想起另一个已不在的人是一件痛苦的事情。她发出一声尖利的喊叫,然后用手遮住了脸。

  :鲍比,鲍比“她哭了出来,有一种不可思议的悲伤。“走开!走开!我想单独在这—单独!”

  男孩脸上的光彩消失了。他的眼睛显示出被深深伤害的感觉。他等着,但是她没动。带着一声小声的哭叫,小男孩离开了房间。

  过了一会儿,黑衣女人抬起头,看到他走过窗子。他和他的父亲在院子里,在苹果树下玩。

  玩!

  黑衣女人用严肃的眼神看着他们,嘴角凝固了。

  鲍比有人和他玩,那是爱他和照顾他的人,然而在那山坡上,凯思林是孤独的—完全孤独的。

  带着一声小小的哭泣,黑衣女人跳起来,冲进自己的房间。她哆嗦着手戴上帽子,用面纱遮住自己。但是当她下楼穿过走廊的时候,她的脚步是坚定的。

  苹果树下的男人急忙站起身,来到面前。

  “海伦,亲爱的,—今天别再这样了!”他请求道。“亲爱的,这样做没什么好处!”

  “但是她是孤独的—完全孤独。你也不想一想!没人去想-没人知道我的感觉。你不会明白。如果你明白。你就会和我一起来。你不会让我待在这!”女人哽咽道。

  “我一直和你在一起,亲爱的,”男人温柔地说道。“我今天和你在一起,几乎每天都和你在一起,自从她离开我们以后。但是这样做没什么好处—在她坟墓前持续的悲恸。这样只会使你、我和鲍比更加悲伤。鲍比在这,你知道的,亲爱的!”

  “不,不,不要说这些,”女人疯狂地喊道。“你不会明白!不会明白!”然后她转过身急匆匆地走开了,身后是男人担心的眼光,还有男孩悲伤的眼神。

  到墓地并不远。黑衣女人知道路。然而,她步履蹒跚地乱走。他跌倒在一个刻着“凯思林”的墓碑旁。她身旁有一个灰白头发的女人,手里捧满粉红色和白色的玫瑰花,同情地看着她。灰白色头发的女人停住了,张开嘴巴仿佛要说什么。然后慢慢转过身去,开始在墓穴上摆放花朵。

  黑衣女人抬起头。默默地看了一会儿。然后揭起面纱说话了。

  “你也关心?”她温柔地问道。“你理解。我确信以前也看到过你。是你的小女儿吗?”

  灰白色头发的女人摇了摇头。

  “不,亲亲。是一个小男孩—或者说40年前是一个小男孩。”

  “40年—时间太长了!没有他你这四十年怎么过来的?”

  小女人又摇了摇头。

  “一个人不得不那样—有时,亲亲,但是这个小孩不是我的。”

  “但是你关心。你理解。我以前经常看到你在这。”

  “是的。你看到过,再也没有其他人关心。但是曾经我也不关心,现在关心了,因为她的缘故。””

  “她?”

  “他的母亲。”

  “哦!”她发出小声的哭喊,充满了同情。黑衣女人的眼睛落在署名凯思林的墓碑上。

  “不是我不知道她的感觉,”灰白头发的女人说。“你知道,当那件事发生的时候,我是男孩的护士。后来我又在那个家里工作了几年。所以我理解。从开始我就知道整个事情,从那天小男孩在这里遭遇事故开始。”

  “事故!”凯思林的母亲关心同情地喊了一声。

  “是的。马失控了,他活了没有两天。”

  “我知道,知道了!”黑衣女人哽咽了。然而她不是在想那个男孩和失控的马。

  “对于我的女主人来说天塌下来了,”灰白头发的女人继续说,“那就是世界末日的开始。她有丈夫和一个女儿,但是他们似乎并不重要—两个人都不重要。没人重要,除了那个墓中的人。她来到这里,一待就是好几个小时。她带来花,对着它们说话。”

  黑衣女人突然抬起头,迅速地看向那个女人的脸。女人继续说着。

  “房间里的悲伤气氛越来越浓重,但是她似乎不在意。好像她就想让它那样。她把阳光关在门外,收起了很多的照片。她只坐在男孩的房间里。房间里的一切就像他刚离开时的一样。她不想让任何人碰那里的东西。后来我就感到奇怪,她是否知道这样做会导致什么,但是她不知道。

  “导致?”声音颤抖着。

  “是的。我奇怪她是否知道她正在失去他们-丈夫和女儿;但是她自己却不知道。”

  黑衣女人静静地坐着。甚至鸟儿似乎也停止了歌唱。灰白头发的女人又说:

  “因此,你看,这就是为什么我来到这儿,把花放在这儿。这是给她的。现在没人关心这个,”她站起身叹息道。

  “但是你还没说—发生了什么事,”黑衣女人轻轻地说。

  “实际上我自己也不是很清楚。我知道男人离开了。他四处游荡,不常在家。当他回来的时候看起来像有病的样子,很糟糕。他回来的越来越少,最后死了。但那是在她去世后。他就埋在那里,在她和男孩的旁边。女孩—没有人知道她在哪。女孩喜欢花、阳光、笑和年轻人,你知道,她家里没有这些。所以她就走了— 去能找到这些东西的地方,我猜测。”

  “你看,如果我不走,我就把你栓在这和我说话!”灰白头发的女人抱歉地说。

  “不,不。我很高兴听到这些,”黑衣女人说,摇摇晃晃的站起来。她的脸变得白起来,眼中显露出突然间的害怕。“我必须得走了。谢谢你。”她掉回头,急匆匆地走了。

  当黑衣女人到家的时候,房子仍然很静。她因这寂静而颤抖。她赶紧上楼,充满了愧疚。在她自己的房间里,她取下裹在脸上的面纱,哭了起来,一种带着压抑和含糊不清的话的小声地哭泣。当她脱下黑衣的时候,仍然在哭。

  过了一会儿,女人—不再穿着黑衣服—慢慢地走下楼去。她的眼挂满了泪痕,但是努力地挤出一个微笑。她穿上了一件白衣,头上插了一支白玫瑰。在她后面,穿过走廊的小房间里,那靠近床尾架子上的小小的钟大声地滴答着。

  楼下的大厅里传来跑步的声音,然后是一个男孩高兴地声音:

  “妈妈!是妈妈回来了!”

  随着一声小声地哭泣,男孩的母亲对她的儿子张开了双臂。

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