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英国语文BOOK 5 LESSON 6 The prairie on fire 起火的大草原 (中英对照+mp3)

LESSON 6 The prairie on fire(II)

第六课 起火的大草原(二)

Before time had been allowed for remonstrance, the old man, who had continued during the whole scene like one much at a loss how to proceed, though, also, like one who was rather perplexed than alarmed, suddenly assumed a decided air, as if he no longer doubted as to the course it was most advisable to pursue.

没有时间抱怨,老者流露出更多困惑迷茫,而非惊恐。整个景象让人不知所措,不知如何才能继续前行。忽然老者不再迟疑,转而流露出坚定的神情,仿佛继续前行赶路才是明智的决策。

"It is time to be doing," he said, interrupting the controversy that was about to ensue between the naturalist and the bee hunter; "it is time to leave off books and moanings, and to be doing."

博物学家和捕峰人就要开始一场论战,老人打断了他们的争论,”该行动了“,他说,”是时候该抛开书本,不要抱怨,赶紧上路吧。“

"You have come to your recollection too late, miserable old man!" cried Middleton. "The flames are within a quarter of a mile of us, and the wind is bringing them down in this direction with dreadful rapidity."

米德尔顿哭喊着:“你醒悟过来未免晚了些吧,可怜的老头,火焰离我们也就四分之一英里了,风吹着火苗以可怕的速度翻滚,要不了一会就烧过来了。”

"Anan! the flames! I care but little for the flames! If I only knew how to circumvent the cunning of the Tetons as I know how to cheat the fire of its prey, there would be nothing needed but thanks to the Lord for our deliverance. Do you call that a fire! If you had seen what I have witnessed in the eastern hills, when mighty mountains were like the furnace of a smith, you would have known what it was to fear the flames, and to be thankful that you were spared.—Come, lads, come; 'tis time to be doing now, and to cease talking, for yonder curling flame is truly coming on like a trotting moose.(1) Put hands upon this short and withered grass where we stand, and lay bare the earth."

“火焰?我才不关心火焰呢。如果我知道如何躲开狡猾的特顿人就好了。我当然知道如何免遭大火吞噬。我们不需要做什么,除了感谢上帝的救赎。你把这点火叫做火灾?如果你曾见过我在东面山上见过的火灾,那些高耸的山脉就像进入铁匠的熔炉里,你就会知道那种火灾才真正让人惧怕,你就会谢天谢地你还活着!——来吧,小伙子们,现在该做事了,不要喋喋不休,那边蜷曲的火苗的确就像小跑的麋鹿。现在动手拔掉脚下所踩的矮小的枯草,把土地翻露出来。”

"Would you think to deprive the fire of its victims in this childish manner?" exclaimed Middleton.

“你认为用这样幼稚的方式就可以免受火灾的威胁吗?“米德尔顿大叫着。

A faint but solemn smile passed over the features of the old man, as he answered, "Your grandfather would have said, that when the enemy was nigh, a soldier could do no better than obey."

一丝苍白而又严肃的笑容掠过老者的脸,他随着回答道:“你祖父说过,当敌人在附近的时候,战士所能做的就是服从命令。”

The captain felt the reproof, and instantly began to imitate the industry of Paul, who was tearing the decayed herbage from the ground in a sort of desperate compliance with the trapper's direction. Even Ellen lent her hands to the labour; nor was it long before Inez was seen similarly employed, though none among them knew why. A very few moments sufficed to lay bare a spot of some twenty feet in diameter.

队长意识到了话语中的责备的语气,立刻开始模仿勤快的保罗——他正撕扯着土地上残败的杂草,即使有一丝绝望,也顺从了老猎人的方法。艾伦甚至搭了一把手,不消一会儿,伊内兹也开始做同样的事情,尽管没人知道为什么要这样做。片刻的功夫足够他们把直径二十英尺的一块土地暴露在面前。

To one side of this little area the trapper brought the females, directing Middleton and Paul to cover their light and inflammable dresses with the blankets of the party. Then the old man, crossing to the other side, approached the grass, which still environed(2) them in a dangerous circle, and selecting a handful of the driest of the herbage, he placed it over the pan of his rifle. The light combustible kindled at the flash. Then he placed the little flame in a bed of the standing fog, and patiently awaited the result.

在这一小块土地的一头,猎人和女人们一起指导米德尔顿和保罗用大家的毯子盖住了身上容易着火的衣物。然后老人走到另一头,来到杂草边,高高的茅草把他们围在一个危险的圆圈里面。老人拣出来一簇枯草,放在来复枪的支撑盘附近,引火点燃了枯草,然后他把小小的火苗放在了冒着青烟的席草上,并退到这块圆形土地中间来,他耐心地等待着结果。

The subtle element seized with avidity upon its new fuel, and in a moment forked flames were gliding among the grass, as the tongues of ruminating(3) animals are seen rolling among their food, apparently in quest of its sweetest portions.

微小的火苗贪婪地攫取着新的燃料,片刻火苗分叉,滑行穿过草原,火舌翻滚,就像反刍的动物,明显在追逐着最甜美的食物。

"Now," said the old man, holding up a finger, and laughing in his peculiarly silent manner, "you shall see fire fight fire. Ah's me! many is the time I have burned a path from wanton laziness to pick my way across a tangled bottom."

老人的神情古怪而沉静,表情中显露出一丝笑意,他用手指头指着说;“现在,你们会看到火苗吞噬火苗!这就是我的方法!我用这种方法多次烧出一条出路,我绝不是过度的懒惰,只是为了弄清如何走出去,为了寻找办法。”

"But is this not fatal?" cried the amazed Middleton; "are you not bringing the enemy nigher to us, instead of avoiding it?"

米德尔顿惊讶地大喊道:“这难道还不致命?你确定没有把敌人引得更近?你确定避开了敌人了吗?”

"Do you scorch so easily? Your grandfather had a tougher skin. But we shall live to see,—we shall all live to see.

“你就这点挖苦人的本身?你祖父向来坚强。我们打赌看看。我们打赌看看。”

The experience of the trapper was in the right. As the fire gained strength, it began to spread on three sides, dying of itself on the fourth for want of aliment. As it increased, and the sullen roaring announced its power, it cleared everything before it, leaving the black and smoking soil far more naked than if the scythe had swept the place. The area in which the fugitives had taken refuge increased as the fire advanced; and by going to the spot where it had been first kindled by the trapper, they avoided the excessive heat. In a very few moments the flames began to recede in every direction, leaving the party enveloped in a cloud of smoke, but perfectly safe from the torrent of fire that was still furiously rolling onward.

猎人的经验无疑是对的。当火苗力量增强时,就开始向三个方向扩散,而第四个方向由于缺少供给,火苗越来越弱。一旦火苗烧起来之后,火苗发出的沉闷的燃烧声,似乎宣告着它的力量,它清除了前方所有的障碍,只留下烧过的乌黑的土地,就像一把大镰刀扫过一样。当火势变大的时候,就可以在这片地方躲避,因为这块空地在大火烧过来之前早已被猎人烧了一遍,所以他们避开了大火的炙烤。片刻之后,火苗开始从各处消退,他们被包裹在浓重的烟雾之中,倒是完全摆脱了危险,而火焰依然猛烈地向前翻滚。

The others regarded the simple expedient of the trapper with that species of wonder with which the courtiers of Ferdinand(4) are said to have viewed the manner in which Columbus made his egg to stand on its end,—though with feeling that were filled with gratitude instead of envy.

其他人把猎人的权宜之计看成是奇迹,就像传说中,国王费迪南德的侍臣看到哥伦布把鸡蛋立起来的表情一样,但是这种情绪满含着感激而非妒忌。

"Most wonderful!" said Middleton, when he saw the complete success of the device: "the thought was a gift from Heaven."

当米德尔顿看到这个策略获得彻底的成功时,他叫道:“真是精彩绝伦啊!这个想法简直是来自天堂的礼物。”

"Old trapper," cried Paul, thrusting his fingers through his shaggy locks, "I have lined many a loaded bee into his hole, and know something of the nature of the woods, but this is robbing a hornet of his sting without touching the insect!"

“老猎人,”保罗的手指插入了蓬松的蜂巢,他喊道:”我把采了很多蜜的蜜蜂封入了蜂巢,我理解这片林子,但如何走出去,就如同不碰大黄蜂,而得到它的刺一样!”

"It will do—it will do," returned the old man, who, after the first moment of his success, seemed to think no more of the exploit. "Let the flames do their work for a short half hour, and then we will mount. That time is needed to cool the meadow; for these unshod beasts are tender on the hoof as a barefooted girl."

“能行的,能行的,“老人回过神来,似乎不再想他的功绩。”让火苗再烧半个小时吧,之后我们骑马上路。草原需要时间冷却,因为那些光脚的提顿人走在上面也受不了,比光脚的姑娘走路好不了多少。“

The veteran, on whose experience they all so implicitly relied for protection, employed himself in reconnoitring objects in the distance, through the openings which the air occasionally made in the immense bodies of smoke, that by this time lay in enormous piles on every part of the plain.

他们暗中依赖老人丰富的经验,利用他自己在远处侦查到的目标,一起穿过这片被烧过的开阔地。浮尘让空气变得越发浓重,草原周围放眼望去都是浓黑的烟柱。

—J. Fenimore Cooper.(5)

——j·费尼莫尔·库柏

QUESTIONS

问题

What did the trapper presently instruct his companions to do? How large a space did they clear? Where did the trapper place the females? What did the trapper do at the other side? What was the result? With what feelings did the others regard the trapper's device?

当前猎人指示他的同伴们做了什么?他们清理出了多大一块地方?猎人把女人们 安置在哪里?猎人在地头另一头做什么?结果如何?其他人怀着什么样的情绪看待猎人的计策?

译文属小E英语原创,未经允许,不得转载。

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