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首页 百万英镑

百万英镑.doc

百万英镑

凤栖于吾
2012-06-22 0人阅读 举报 0 0 0 暂无简介

简介:本文档为《百万英镑doc》,可适用于人文社科领域

The,,poundBankNotewwwredsoncnWhenIwastwentysevenyearsold,Iwasaminingbroker’sclerkinSanFrancisco,andanexpertinallthedetailsofstocktrafficIwasaloneintheworld,andhadnothingtodependuponbutmywitsandacleanreputationbuttheseweresettingmyfeetintheroadtoeventualfortune,andIwascontentwiththeprospectMytimewasmyownaftertheafternoonboard,Saturdays,andIwasaccustomedtoputitinonalittlesailboatonthebayOnedayIventuredtoofar,andwascarriedouttoseaJustatnightfall,whenhopewasaboutgone,IwaspickedupbyasmallbrigwhichwasboundforLondonItwasalongandstormyvoyage,andtheymademeworkmypassagewithoutpay,asacommonsailorWhenIsteppedashoreinLondonmyclotheswereraggedandshabby,andIhadonlyadollarinmypocketThismoneyfedandshelteredmetwentyfourhoursDuringthenexttwentyfourIwentwithoutfoodandshelterAboutteno’clockonthefollowingmorning,seedyandhungry,IwasdraggingmyselfalongPortlandPlace,whenachildthatwaspassing,towedbyanursemaid,tossedalusciousbigpearminusonebiteintothegutterIstopped,ofcourse,andfastenedmydesiringeyeonthatmuddytreasureMymouthwateredforit,mystomachcravedit,mywholebeingbeggedforitButeverytimeImadeamovetogetitsomepassingeyedetectedmypurpose,andofcourseIstraightenedupthen,andlookedindifferent,andpretendedthatIhadn’tbeenthinkingaboutthepearatallThissamethingkepthappeningandhappening,andIcouldn’tgetthepearIwasjustgettingdesperateenoughtobravealltheshame,andtoseizeit,whenawindowbehindmewasraised,andagentlemanspokeoutofit,saying:“Stepinhere,please”Iwasadmittedbyagorgeousflunkey,andshownintoasumptuousroomwhereacoupleofelderlygentlemenweresittingTheysentawaytheservant,andmademesitdownTheyhadjustfinishedtheirbreakfast,andthesightoftheremainsofitalmostoverpoweredmeIcouldhardlykeepmywitstogetherinthepresenceofthatfood,butasIwasnotaskedtosampleit,IhadtobearmytroubleasbestIcouldNow,somethinghadbeenhappeningtherealittlebefore,whichIdidnotknowanythingaboutuntilagoodmanydaysafterwards,butIwilltellyouaboutitnowThosetwooldbrothershadbeenhavingaprettyhotargumentacoupleofdaysbefore,andhadendedbyagreeingtodecideitbyabet,whichistheEnglishwayofsettlingeverythingYouwillrememberthattheBankofEnglandonceissuedtwonotesofamillionpoundseach,tobeusedforaspecialpurposeconnectedwithsomepublictransactionwithaforeigncountryForsomereasonorotheronlyoneofthesehadbeenusedandcanceledtheotherstilllayinthevaultsoftheBankWell,thebrothers,chattingalong,happenedtogettowonderingwhatmightbethefateofaperfectlyhonestandintelligentstrangerwhoshouldbeturnedadriftinLondonwithoutafriend,andwithnomoneybutthatmillionpoundbanknote,andnowaytoaccountforhisbeinginpossessionofitBrotherAsaidhewouldstarvetodeathBrotherBsaidhewouldn’tBrotherAsaidhecouldn’tofferitatabankoranywhereelse,becausehewouldbearrestedonthespotSotheywentondisputingtillBrotherBsaidhewouldbettwentythousandpoundsthatthemanwouldlivethirtydays,anyway,onthatmillion,andkeepoutofjail,tooBrotherAtookhimupBrotherBwentdowntotheBankandboughtthatnoteJustlikeanEnglishman,youseeplucktothebackboneThenhedictatedaletter,whichoneofhisclerkswroteoutinabeautifulroundhand,andthenthetwobrotherssatatthewindowawholedaywatchingfortherightmantogiveittoTheysawmanyhonestfacesgobythatwerenotintelligentenoughmanythatwereintelligent,butnothonestenoughmanythatwereboth,butthepossessorswerenotpoorenough,or,ifpoorenough,werenotstrangersTherewasalwaysadefect,untilIcamealongbuttheyagreedthatIfilledthebillallaroundsotheyelectedmeunanimously,andthereIwasnowwaitingtoknowwhyIwascalledinTheybegantoaskmequestionsaboutmyself,andprettysoontheyhadmystoryFinallytheytoldmeIwouldanswertheirpurposeIsaidIwassincerelyglad,andaskedwhatitwasThenoneofthemhandedmeanenvelope,andsaidIwouldfindtheexplanationinsideIwasgoingtoopenit,buthesaidnotakeittomylodgings,andlookitovercarefully,andnotbehastyorrashIwaspuzzled,andwantedtodiscussthematteralittlefurther,buttheydidn’tsoItookmyleave,feelinghurtandinsultedtobemadethebuttofwhatwasapparentlysomekindofapracticaljoke,andyetobligedtoputupwithit,notbeingincircumstancestoresentaffrontsfromrichandstrongfolkIwouldhavepickedupthepearnowandeatenitbeforealltheworld,butitwasgonesoIhadlostthatbythisunluckybusiness,andthethoughtofitdidnotsoftenmyfeelingtowardsthosemenAssoonasIwasoutofsightofthathouseIopenedmyenvelope,andsawthatitcontainedmoney!Myopinionofthosepeoplechanged,Icantellyou!Ilostnotamoment,butshovednoteandmoneyintomyvestpocket,andbrokeforthenearestcheapeatinghouseWell,howIdideat!WhenatlastIcouldn’tholdanymore,Itookoutmymoneyandunfoldedit,tookoneglimpseandnearlyfaintedFivemillionsofdollars!Why,itmademyheadswimImusthavesattherestunnedandblinkingatthenoteasmuchasaminutebeforeIcamerightlytomyselfagainThefirstthingInoticed,then,wasthelandlordHiseyewasonthenote,andhewaspetrifiedHewasworshiping,withallhisbodyandsoul,buthelookedasifhecouldn’tstirhandorfootItookmycueinamoment,anddidtheonlyrationalthingtherewastodoIreachedthenotetowardshim,andsaid,carelessly:“Givemethechange,please”Thenhewasrestoredtohisnormalcondition,andmadeathousandapologiesfornotbeingabletobreakthebill,andIcouldn’tgethimtotouchitHewantedtolookatit,andkeeponlookingatithecouldn’tseemtogetenoughofittoquenchthethirstofhiseye,butheshrankfromtouchingitasifithadbeensomethingtoosacredforpoorcommonclaytohandleIsaid:“Iamsorryifitisaninconvenience,butImustinsistPleasechangeitIhaven’tanythingelse”Buthesaidthatwasn’tanymatterhewasquitewillingtoletthetriflestandovertillanothertimeIsaidImightnotbeinhisneighborhoodagainforagoodwhilebuthesaiditwasofnoconsequence,hecouldwait,and,moreover,IcouldhaveanythingIwanted,anytimeIchose,andlettheaccountrunaslongasIpleasedHesaidhehopedhewasn’tafraidtotrustasrichagentlemanasIwas,merelybecauseIwasofamerrydisposition,andchosetoplaylarksonthepublicinthematterofdressBythistimeanothercustomerwasentering,andthelandlordhintedtometoputthemonsteroutofsightthenhebowedmeallthewaytothedoor,andIstartedstraightforthathouseandthosebrothers,tocorrectthemistakewhichhadbeenmadebeforethepoliceshouldhuntmeup,andhelpmedoitIwasprettynervousinfact,prettybadlyfrightened,though,ofcourse,IwasnowayinfaultbutIknewmenwellenoughtoknowthatwhentheyfindthey’vegivenatrampamillionpoundbillwhentheythoughtitwasaonepounder,theyareinafranticrageagainsthiminsteadofquarrelingwiththeirownnearsightedness,astheyoughtAsIapproachedthehousemyexcitementbegantoabate,forallwasquietthere,whichmademefeelprettysuretheblunderwasnotdiscoveredyetIrangThesameservantappearedIaskedforthosegentlemen“Theyaregone”Thisinthelofty,coldwayofthatfellow’stribe“GoneGonewhere”“Onajourney”“Butwhereabouts”“TotheContinent,Ithink”“TheContinent”“Yes,sir”“Whichwaybywhatroute”“Ican’tsay,sir”“Whenwilltheybeback”“Inamonth,theysaid”“Amonth!Oh,thisisawful!GivemesomesortofideaofhowtogetawordtothemIt’softhelastimportance”“Ican’t,indeedI’venoideawherethey’vegone,sir”“ThenImustseesomememberofthefamily”“Family’saway,toobeenabroadmonthsinEgyptandIndia,Ithink”“Man,there’sbeenanimmensemistakemadeThey’llbebackbeforenightWillyoutellthemI’vebeenhere,andthatIwillkeepcomingtillit’sallmaderight,andtheyneedn’tbeafraid”“I’lltellthem,iftheycomeback,butIamnotexpectingthemTheysaidyouwouldbehereinanhourtomakeinquiries,butImusttellyouit’sallright,they’llbehereontimeandexpectyou”SoIhadtogiveitupandgoawayWhatariddleitallwas!IwasliketolosemymindTheywouldbehere“ontime”WhatcouldthatmeanOh,theletterwouldexplain,maybeIhadforgottentheletterIgotitoutandreaditThisiswhatitsaid:“Youareanintelligentandhonestman,asonemayseebyyourfaceWeconceiveyoutobepoorandastrangerEnclosedyouwillfindasumofmoneyItislenttoyouforthirtydays,withoutinterestReportatthishouseattheendofthattimeIhaveabetonyouIfIwinityoushallhaveanysituationthatisinmygiftany,thatis,thatyoushallbeabletoproveyourselffamiliarwithandcompetenttofill”Nosignature,noaddress,nodateWell,herewasacoiltobein!Youarepostedonwhathadprecededallthis,butIwasnotItwasjustadeep,darkpuzzletomeIhadn’ttheleastideawhatthegamewas,norwhetherharmwasmeantmeorakindnessIwentintoapark,andsatdowntotrytothinkitout,andtoconsiderwhatIhadbestdoAttheendofanhourmyreasoningshadcrystallizedintothisverdictMaybethosemenmeanmewell,maybetheymeanmeillnowaytodecidethatletitgoThey’vegotagame,orascheme,oranexperiment,ofsomekindonhandnowaytodeterminewhatitisletitgoThere’sabetonmenowaytofindoutwhatitisletitgoThatdisposesoftheindeterminablequantitiestheremainderofthematteristangible,solid,andmaybeclassedandlabeledwithcertaintyIfIasktheBankofEnglandtoplacethisbilltothecreditofthemanitbelongsto,they’lldoit,fortheyknowhim,althoughIdon’tbuttheywillaskmehowIcameinpossessionofit,andifItellthetruth,they’llputmeintheasylum,naturally,andaliewilllandmeinjailThesameresultwouldfollowifItriedtobankthebillanywhereortoborrowmoneyonitIhavegottocarrythisimmenseburdenarounduntilthosemencomeback,whetherIwanttoornotItisuselesstome,asuselessasahandfulofashes,andyetImusttakecareofit,andwatchoverit,whileIbegmylivingIcouldn’tgiveitaway,ifIshouldtry,forneitherhonestcitizennorhighwaymanwouldacceptitormeddlewithitforanythingThosebrothersaresafeEvenifIlosetheirbill,orburnit,theyarestillsafe,becausetheycanstoppayment,andtheBankwillmakethemwholebutmeantimeI’vegottodoamonth’ssufferingwithoutwagesorprofitunlessIhelpwinthatbet,whateveritmaybe,andgetthatsituationthatIampromisedIshouldliketogetthatmenoftheirsorthavesituationsintheirgiftthatareworthhavingIgottothinkingagooddealaboutthatsituationMyhopesbegantorisehighWithoutdoubtthesalarywouldbelargeItwouldbegininamonthafterthatIshouldbeallrightPrettysoonIwasfeelingfirstrateBythistimeIwastrampingthestreetsagainThesightofatailorshopgavemeasharplongingtoshedmyrags,andtoclothemyselfdecentlyoncemoreCouldIafforditNoIhadnothingintheworldbutamillionpoundsSoIforcedmyselftogoonbyButsoonIwasdriftingbackagainThetemptationpersecutedmecruellyImusthavepassedthatshopbackandforthsixtimesduringthatmanfulstruggleAtlastIgaveinIhadtoIaskediftheyhadamisfitsuitthathadbeenthrownontheirhandsThefellowIspoketonoddedhisheadtowardsanotherfellow,andgavemenoanswerIwenttotheindicatedfellow,andheindicatedanotherfellowwithhishead,andnowordsIwenttohim,andhesaid:“’Tendtoyoupresently”Iwaitedtillhewasdonewithwhathewasat,thenhetookmeintoabackroom,andoverhauledapileofrejectedsuits,andselectedtherattiestoneformeIputitonItdidn’tfit,andwasn’tinanywayattractive,butitwasnew,andIwasanxioustohaveitsoIdidn’tfindanyfault,butsaid,withsomediffidence:“ItwouldbeanaccommodationtomeifyoucouldwaitsomedaysforthemoneyIhaven’tanysmallchangeaboutme”Thefellowworkedupamostsarcasticexpressionofcountenance,andsaid:“Oh,youhaven’tWell,ofcourse,Ididn’texpectitI’donlyexpectgentlemenlikeyoutocarrylargechange”Iwasnettled,andsaid:“Myfriend,youshouldn’tjudgeastrangeralwaysbytheclotheshewearsIamquiteabletopayforthissuitIsimplydidn’twishtoputyoutothetroubleofchangingalargenote”Hemodifiedhisstylealittleatthat,andsaid,thoughstillwithsomethingofanair:“Ididn’tmeananyparticularharm,butaslongasrebukesaregoing,Imightsayitwasn’tquiteyouraffairtojumptotheconclusionthatwecouldn’tchangeanynotethatyoumighthappentobecarryingaroundOnthecontrary,wecan”Ihandedthenotetohim,andsaid:“Oh,verywellIapologize”Hereceiveditwithasmile,oneofthoselargesmileswhichgoesallaroundover,andhasfoldsinit,andwrinkles,andspirals,andlooksliketheplacewhereyouhavethrownabrickinapondandthenintheactofhistakingaglimpseofthebillthissmilefrozesolid,andturnedyellow,andlookedlikethosewavy,wormyspreadsoflavawhichyoufindhardenedonlittlelevelsonthesideofVesuviusIneverbeforesawasmilecaughtlikethat,andperpetuatedThemanstoodthereholdingthebill,andlookinglikethat,andtheproprietorhustleduptoseewhatwasthematter,andsaid,briskly:“Well,what’supwhat’sthetroublewhat’swanting”Isaid:“Thereisn’tanytroubleI’mwaitingformychange”“Come,comegethimhischange,Todgethimhischange”Todretorted:“Gethimhischange!It’seasytosay,sirbutlookatthebillyourself”Theproprietortookalook,gavealow,eloquentwhistle,thenmadeadiveforthepileofrejectedclothing,andbegantosnatchitthiswayandthat,talkingallthetimeexcitedly,andasiftohimself:“Sellaneccentricmillionairesuchanunspeakablesuitasthat!Tod’safoolabornfoolAlwaysdoingsomethinglikethisDriveseverymillionaireawayfromthisplace,becausehecan’ttellamillionairefromatramp,andnevercouldAh,here’sthethingIamafterPleasegetthosethingsoff,sir,andthrowtheminthefireDomethefavortoputonthisshirtandthissuitit’sjustthething,theverythingplain,rich,modest,andjustducallynobbymadetoorderforaforeignprinceyoumayknowhim,sir,hisSereneHighnesstheHospodarofHalifaxhadtoleaveitwithusandtakeamourningsuitbecausehismotherwasgoingtodiewhichshedidn’tButthat’sallrightwecan’talwayshavethingsthewaywethatis,thewaytheythere!trousersallright,theyfityoutoacharm,sirnowthewaistcoataha,rightagain!nowthecoatlord!lookatthat,now!Perfectthewholething!Ineversawsuchatriumphinallmyexperience”Iexpressedmysatisfaction“Quiteright,sir,quiterightit’lldoforamakeshift,I’mboundtosayButwaittillyouseewhatwe’llgetupforyouonyourownmeasureCome,Tod,bookandpengetatitLengthofleg,”andsoonBeforeIcouldgetinawordhehadmeasuredme,andwasgivingordersfordresssuits,morningsuits,shirts,andallsortsofthingsWhenIgotachanceIsaid:“But,mydearsir,Ican’tgivetheseorders,unlessyoucanwaitindefinitely,orchangethebill”“Indefinitely!It’saweakword,sir,aweakwordEternallythat’stheword,sirTod,rushthesethingsthrough,andsendthemtothegentleman’saddresswithoutanywasteoftimeLettheminorcustomerswaitSetdownthegentleman’saddressand”“I’mchangingmyquartersIwilldropinandleavethenewaddress”“Quiteright,sir,quiterightOnemomentletmeshowyouout,sirTheregoodday,sir,goodday”Well,don’tyouseewhatwasboundtohappenIdriftednaturallyintobuyingwhateverIwanted,andaskingforchangeWithinaweekIwassumptuouslyequippedwithallneedfulcomfortsandluxuries,andwashousedinanexpensiveprivatehotelinHanoverSquareItookmydinnersthere,butforbreakfastIstuckbyHarris’shumblefeedinghouse,whereIhadgotmyfirstmealonmymillionpoundbillIwasthemakingofHarrisThefacthadgoneallabroadthattheforeigncrankwhocarriedmillionpoundbillsinhisvestpocketwasthepatronsaintoftheplaceThatwasenoughFrombeingapoor,struggling,littlehandtomouthenterprise,ithadbecomecelebrated,andovercrowdedwithcustomersHarriswassogratefulthatheforcedloansuponme,andwouldnotbedeniedandso,pauperasIwas,Ihadmoneytospend,andwaslivingliketherichandthegreatIjudgedthattherewasgoingtobeacrashbyandby,butIwasinnowandmustswimacrossordrownYouseetherewasjustthatelementofimpendingdisastertogiveaseriousside,asoberside,yes,atragicside,toastateofthingswhichwouldotherwisehavebeenpurelyridiculousInthenight,inthedark,thetragedypartwasalwaystothefront,andalwayswarning,alwaysthreateningandsoImoanedandtossed,andsleepwashardtofindButinthecheerfuldaylightthetragedyelementfadedoutanddisappeared,andIwalkedonair,andwashappytogiddiness,tointoxication,youmaysayAnditwasnaturalforIhadbecomeoneofthenotorietiesofthemetropolisoftheworld,anditturnedmyhead,notjustalittle,butagooddealYoucouldnottakeupanewspaper,English,Scotch,orIrish,withoutfindinginitoneormorereferencestothe“vestpocketmillionpounder”andhislatestdoingsandsayingAtfirst,inthesementions,Iwasatthebottomofthepersonalgossipcolumnnext,Iwaslistedabovetheknights,nextabovethebaronets,nextabovethebarons,andsoon,andsoon,climbingsteadily,asmynotorietyaugmented,untilIreachedthehighestaltitudepossible,andthereIremained,takingprecedenceofalldukesnotroyal,andofallecclesiasticsexcepttheprimateofallEnglandButmind,thiswasnotfameasyetIhadachievedonlynotorietyThencametheclimaxingstroketheaccolade,sotospeakwhichinasingleinstanttransmutedtheperishabledrossofnotorietyintotheenduringgoldoffame:Punchcaricaturedme!Yes,IwasamademannowmyplacewasestablishedImightbejokedaboutstill,butreverently,nothilariously,notrudelyIcouldbesmiledat,butnotlaughedatThetimeforthathadgonebyPunchpicturedmeallaflutterwithrags,dickeringwithabeefeaterfortheTowerofLondonWell,youcanimaginehowitwaswithayoungfellowwhohadneverbeentakennoticeofbefore,andnowallofasuddencouldn’tsayathingthatwasn’ttakenupandrepeatedeverywherecouldn’tstirabroadwithoutconstantlyoverhearingtheremarkflyingfromliptolip,“Therehegoesthat’shim!”couldn’ttakehisbreakfastwithoutacrowdtolookoncouldn’tappearinanoperaboxwithoutconcentratingtherethefire

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