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英语原版有声读物:《了不起的盖茨比》Chapter8(2)

2015-12-01    来源:普特英语听力    【      美国外教 在线口语培训

For Daisy was young and her artificial world was redolent of orchidsand pleasant, cheerful snobbery and orchestras which set the rhythm ofthe year, summing up the sadness and suggestiveness of life in newtunes. All night the saxophones wailed the hopeless comment of the"Beale Street Blues" while a hundred pairs of golden and silverslippers shuffled the shining dust. At the grey tea hour there werealways rooms that throbbed incessantly with this low sweet fever,while fresh faces drifted here and there like rose petals blown by thesad horns around the floor.

Through this twilight universe Daisy began to move again with theseason; suddenly she was again keeping half a dozen dates a day withhalf a dozen men and drowsing asleep at dawn with the beads andchiffon of an evening dress tangled among dying orchids on the floorbeside her bed. And all the time something within her was crying for adecision. She wanted her life shaped now, immediately--and the decisionmust be made by some force--of love, of money, of unquestionablepracticality--that was close at hand.

That force took shape in the middle of spring with the arrival of TomBuchanan. There was a wholesome bulkiness about his person and hisposition and Daisy was flattered. Doubtless there was a certainstruggle and a certain relief. The letter reached Gatsby while he wasstill at Oxford.

It was dawn now on Long Island and we went about opening the rest ofthe windows downstairs, filling the house with grey turning,gold turning light. The shadow of a tree fell abruptly across the dewand ghostly birds began to sing among the blue leaves. There was aslow pleasant movement in the air, scarcely a wind, promising a coollovely day.

"I don't think she ever loved him." Gatsby turned around from a windowand looked at me challengingly. "You must remember, old sport, she wasvery excited this afternoon. He told her those things in a way thatfrightened her--that made it look as if I was some kind of cheap sharper.And the result was she hardly knew what she was saying."

He sat down gloomily.

"Of course she might have loved him, just for a minute, when they werefirst married--and loved me more even then, do you see?"

Suddenly he came out with a curious remark:

"In any case," he said, "it was just personal."

What could you make of that, except to suspect some intensity inhis conception of the affair that couldn't be measured?

He came back from France when Tom and Daisy were still on their weddingtrip, and made a miserable but irresistible journey to Louisvilleon the last of his army pay. He stayed there a week, walking thestreets where their footsteps had clicked together through theNovember night and revisiting the out-of-the-way places to whichthey had driven in her white car. Just as Daisy's house had alwaysseemed to him more mysterious and gay than other houses so hisidea of the city itself, even though she was gone from it, was pervadedwith a melancholy beauty.

He left feeling that if he had searched harder he might have foundher--that he was leaving her behind. The day-coach--he was pennilessnow--was hot. He went out to the open vestibule and sat down on afolding-chair, and the station slid away and the backs of unfamiliarbuildings moved by. Then out into the spring fields, where a yellowtrolley raced them for a minute with people in it who might once haveseen the pale magic of her face along the casual street.

The track curved and now it was going away from the sun which, as itsank lower, seemed to spread itself in benediction over the vanishingcity where she had drawn her breath. He stretched out his handdesperately as if to snatch only a wisp of air, to save a fragment ofthe spot that she had made lovely for him. But it was all going by toofast now for his blurred eyes and he knew that he had lost that part ofit, the freshest and the best, forever.

It was nine o'clock when we finished breakfast and went out on theporch. The night had made a sharp difference in the weather and therewas an autumn flavor in the air. The gardener, the last one of Gatsby'sformer servants, came to the foot of the steps.

"I'm going to drain the pool today, Mr. Gatsby. Leaves'll start fallingpretty soon and then there's always trouble with the pipes."

"Don't do it today," Gatsby answered. He turned to me apologetically."You know, old sport, I've never used that pool all summer?"

I looked at my watch and stood up.

"Twelve minutes to my train."

I didn't want to go to the city. I wasn't worth a decent stroke of workbut it was more than that--I didn't want to leave Gatsby. I missed thattrain, and then another, before I could get myself away.

"I'll call you up," I said finally.

"Do, old sport."

"I'll call you about noon."

We walked slowly down the steps.

"I suppose Daisy'll call too." He looked at me anxiously as if hehoped I'd corroborate this.

"I suppose so."

"Well--goodbye."

We shook hands and I started away. Just before I reached the hedge Iremembered something and turned around.

"They're a rotten crowd," I shouted across the lawn. "You're worth thewhole damn bunch put together."

I've always been glad I said that. It was the only compliment I ever gavehim, because I disapproved of him from beginning to end. First he noddedpolitely, and then his face broke into that radiant and understandingsmile, as if we'd been in ecstatic cahoots on that fact all the time.His gorgeous pink rag of a suit made a bright spot of color against thewhite steps and I thought of the night when I first came to his ancestralhome three months before. The lawn and drive had been crowded with thefaces of those who guessed at his corruption--and he had stood on thosesteps, concealing his incorruptible dream, as he waved them goodbye.

I thanked him for his hospitality. We were always thanking him forthat--I and the others.

"Goodbye," I called. "I enjoyed breakfast, Gatsby."

Up in the city I tried for a while to list the quotations on aninterminable amount of stock, then I fell asleep in my swivel-chair.Just before noon the phone woke me and I started up with sweatbreaking out on my forehead. It was Jordan Baker; she often calledme up at this hour because the uncertainty of her own movementsbetween hotels and clubs and private houses made her hard to findin any other way. Usually her voice came over the wire as somethingfresh and cool as if a divot from a green golf links had comesailing in at the office window but this morning it seemed harsh and dry.

"I've left Daisy's house," she said. "I'm at Hempstead and I'm going downto Southampton this afternoon."

Probably it had been tactful to leave Daisy's house, but the actannoyed me and her next remark made me rigid.

"You weren't so nice to me last night."

"How could it have mattered then?"

Silence for a moment. Then--

"However--I want to see you."

"I want to see you too."

"Suppose I don't go to Southampton, and come into town this afternoon?"

"No--I don't think this afternoon."

"Very well."

"It's impossible this afternoon. Various----"

We talked like that for a while and then abruptly we weren't talking anylonger. I don't know which of us hung up with a sharp click but I know Ididn't care. I couldn't have talked to her across a tea-table that day ifI never talked to her again in this world.

I called Gatsby's house a few minutes later, but the line was busy. Itried four times; finally an exasperated central told me the wire wasbeing kept open for long distance from Detroit. Taking out mytime-table I drew a small circle around the three-fifty train. Then Ileaned back in my chair and tried to think. It was just noon.
 



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