Unit Ten   sound.gif (2200 字节) 


                                         I first  heard  this  story  a  few  years  ago  from  a 

                         girl  I    had  met  in  New   York's   Greenwich  Village. 

                         Probably the story is one of those mysterious bits of folk-

                         lore  that  reappear  every  few  years, to be told anew in 

                         one  form  or  another. However, I still like to think that

                        it really did happen, somewhere, sometime. 

                             GOING HOME           

          They  were  going  to  Fort  Lauderdale -- three  boys  and  three  girls--

     and when they boarded the bus, they were carrying sandwiches and wine in

     paper bags,  dreaming of  golden  beaches and sea tides  as  the gray,  cold 

     spring of New York vanished behind them.

5        As the  bus  passed  through  New Jersey,  they  began  to notice Vingo.      

     He sat  in  front  of  them, dressed  in a  plain, ill-fitting  suit, never  moving,

     his dusty  face  masking  his  age. He  kept  chewing  the  inside of  his lip a 

     lot, frozen into complete silence.

          Deep  into the  night,  outside Washington,  the bus  pulled  into Howard 

10  Johnson's, and  everybody  got  off except Vingo.He sat  rooted in his seat,     

     and the young  people began  to  wonder about  him,  trying  to  imagine his 

     life: perhaps he  was a  sea captain, a  runaway  from his wife, an old soldier 

     going home.  When they  went  back to the bus, one of  the  girls sat  beside 

     him and introduced herself.  

15      " We're   going   to   Florida, "  she   said   brightly.  "I   hear  it's   really      

     beauti- ful. "

         "It is," he said quietly, as if remembering something he had tried to     


         "Want  some  wine?" she said. He smiled  and  took a swig from the bot-  

20 tle.  He  thanked  her  and  retreated  again  into  his  silence.  After  a  while,

    she went back to the others, and Vingo nodded in sleep.

         In  the  morning,  they  awoke  outside  another  Howard  Johnson's, and 

    this  time  Vingo  went  in. The girl  insisted  that he  join  them.  He  seemed 

    very shy, and ordered black coffee and smoked nervously as the young peo-

25 ple chattered  about sleeping  on beaches.  When  they returned  to the  bus, 

    the  girl  sat   with Vingo  again, and after  a  while, slowly  and  painfully, he

    began  to  tell  his  story. He  had  been in  jail in New York for the past four 

    years, and now he was going home.                                       

         "Are you married?"                                                   

30     "I don't know. "                                                     

         "You don't know?" she said.                                          

         "Well, when  I  was  in  jail  I wrote  to  my  wife, "  he said. "I  told  her 

     that  I was going  to be away a long time, and that  if she couldn't stand it,if 

     the kids kept askin' questions, if  it  hurt her too much, well, she  could just

35 forget me. I'd understand. Get a  new  guy, I said-she's a  wonderful  wom-

    an, really something-and  forget  about  me.  I  told  her  she  didn't  have to 

    write me. And she didn't. Not for three and a half years. "

        "And you're going home now, not knowing?"

        "Yeah, " he said shyly.  "Well, last week, when I was sure the parole 

40 was  coming through, I  wrote her again. We used to live in Brunswick, just 

     before Jacksonville, and there's  a big oak tree just as you come into town.I

     told  her  that if she didn't have a  new guy and  if she'd  take  me back, she

     should put a  yellow  handkerchief on  the  tree, and  I'd  get off  and come 

     home. If  she  didn't want  me,  forget  it--no handkerchief,  and  I'd  go on

45 through. "

        "Wow, " the girl exclaimed. "Wow. "

        She told the  others, and  soon all of  them  were  in  it, caught  up in  the

     approach of Brunswick, looking at  the pictures Vingo showed them of  his 

     wife and  three  children -- the woman  handsome  in a  plain way,  the  chil-

50 dren still  unformed  in  the much-handled snapshots.

         Now  they were 20 miles from Brunswick,  and  the  young  people  took

     over  window seats on the right side, waiting for  the approach of  the  great 

     oak tree.  Vingo stopped  looking, tightening his face, as  if  fortifying   him- 

     self against still another disappointment.

55     Then  Brunswick  was 10  miles,  and  then  five. Then,  suddenly,  all  of         

     the  young  people  were up out of  their seats, screaming and shouting  and 

     crying, doing small dances of joy. All except Vingo.

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        Vingo  sat  there  stunned, looking at  the  oak tree. It  was covered  with 

     yellow  handkerchiefs - 20 of  them,  30 of  them,  maybe hundreds,  a tree 

60 that  stood like a banner of  welcome  billowing  in  the wirid. As the young         

     people  shouted,  the  old con slowly rose from his seat and made his  way 

     to the front of the bus to go home.  

                                  New Words      

    mysterious / a.                   strange 神秘的         

     mystery / n.

    folklore / n.                        民间传说   

  reappear vi.                        appear again after an absence ()anew / ad.                          in a new or different way; again 重新;再

  sometime ad.                     at some uncertain or unstated time 某个时候      

  tide / n.                              潮汐    

  vanish / vi.                         disappear      

  ill-fitting / a.                       不和身的    

  dusty / a.                           covered with dust 满是灰尘的  

  mask / vt.                           hide 遮盖;掩盖    

  root v.                               (cause to)be fixed and unmoving(使)生根


  runaway/ n.                        a person that has left home or escaped 


  brightly ad.                         in a bright manner, cheerfully 欢快地,


  swig/ n.                              a long and large drink 疼饮         

  retreat/ vi.                           go back; withdraw 退缩;退却,撤退    

  chatter/ vi.                          talk fast and noisiy about sth.unimportant


  painfully ad.            in great discomfort 痛苦地   

    painful a.                       

 jail/ n.                                 prison 监狱     

  guy/ n.                               (AmE sl.)man;fellow 人;家伙       

  yeah/ ad.                            (AmE) yes     

  parole/ n.                            conditional release from prison 假释    

  oak/ n.                               橡树    

  wow/ interj .                       an expression of surprise 哇,呀    

  exclaim/ vt.                        cry out suddenly because of surprise, 


  approach/ n.                      coming near or nearer 接近,临近   

  unformed/ a.                      immature 发育未全的  

  handle/ vt.                          touch,feel or use (sth.)with the hand(s)


  snapshot/ n.              快照     

  tighte/ v.                            make or become tighter or firmer(使)变紧;


  fortify/ vt.                          make strong 增强;...以勇气     

  stun/ vt.                             shock or surprise(sb.)使震惊;使目瞪口呆    

  banner/ n.                           flag ,旗帜     

  billow/ vi.                           wave(波浪)翻腾;波浪般起伏    

  con/ n.                               convict,prisoner 囚犯    

                         Phrases & Expressions    
   dreartt of	                       wish for ardently 向往,渴望

  pull into	                               enter, arrive at (车等)驶入;到达

  take back	                       agree to receive sb. whom one has dismissed	


  come throulgh                      arrive as expected 如所预料地到来

  be caught up in                     be very interested in ...入迷  

  take over                              oceupy 占用;接管

  make one's way                    move along 去,前往  
                               Proper Names  

   Greenwich Village /                  格林尼治村(纽约市)   

   Fort Lauderdale /                     洛德代尔堡(佛罗里达州) 

   New Jersey /                            新泽西(美国州名) 

   Vingo /                                    文戈(姓氏)  

   Howard Johnson /                   霍华德.约翰逊   

  Florida /                                 佛罗里达(美国州名)   

   Brunswick /                            布伦斯威克(佐治亚州) 

   Jacksonville /                          杰克逊维尔(佛罗里达州)