ผู้เขียน หัวข้อ: มีเรื่องมาให้นักอ่านๆกันจ้า  (อ่าน 6911 ครั้ง)

ออฟไลน์ padupedoo

  • Newbie
  • *
  • กระทู้: 3
  • Karma: +0/-0
มีเรื่องมาให้นักอ่านๆกันจ้า
« เมื่อ: กุมภาพันธ์ 19, 2008, 04:54:42 am »
เป็นเรื่องสั้นภาษาอังกฤษนะค่ะ มีคำถามท้ายบทมาให้ทำด้วย ถ้าคัยเก่งภาษาอังกฤษก้อช่วยผมตอบคำถามทีนะค่ะส่งเมล์มาหรือตอบกระทู้ก้อได้ค่ะ ขอขอบคุนนักอ่านรุ่นพี่ทุกท่านค่ะ -/l- ว่างๆเราจะมาแปลไทยให้อ่านกันนะค่ะ<ซัมเมอร์นี้ค่ะ>
 

The Lottery by Marjorie Barnard

The first that Ted Bilborough knew of his wife’s good fortune was when one of his friends , an elderly wag, shook his hand with mock gravity and murmured a few words of manly but inappropriate sympathy. Ted didn’t know what to make of it. He had just stepped from the stairway on to the upper deck of the 6:15 P.M. ferry from town. Fred Lewis seemed to have been waiting for him, and as he looked about he got the impression of newspapers and grins and a little flutter of half derisive excitement, all focused on himself. Everything seemed to bulge towards him. It must be some sort of leg pull. He felt his assurance threatened, and the corner of his mouth twitched uncomfortably in his fat cheek, as he tried to assume a hard boiled manner.
“Keep the change, laddie,”  he said.
“He doesn’t know, actually he doesn’t know.”
“Your wife’s won the lottery!”
“He won’t believe you. Show him the paper. There it is as plain as my nose. Mrs.Grace Biborough, 52 Cuthbert Street.”  A thick, stained forefinger pointed to the words.
”First prize, five thousand pounds, Last Hope Syndicate.”
“He’s taking it very hard,”  said Fred Lewis, shaking his head.
They began thumping him on the back. He had traveled on the ferry every week-day for the last ten years, barring a fortnight’s holiday in January, and he knewnearly everyone. Even those he didn’t know entered into the spirit of it. Ted filled his pipe nonchalantly but with unsteady fingers. He was keeping that odd unsteadiness, that seemed to begin somewhere deep in his chest, to himself. It was a wonder that fellows in the office hadn’t got hold of this, but they had been busy today in the hot loft under the chromium pipes of the pneumatic system, sending down change and checking up on credit accounts. Sale time. Grace might have let him know. She could have rung up from Thompson’s. Bill was always borrows the lawn mower and the step ladder, so it would hardly be asking a favour in the circumstances. But that was Grace all over.
“If I can’t have it myself, you’re the man I like to see get it.”
They meant it too. Everyone liked Ted in a kind sort of way. He was a good fellow in both senses of the word. Not namby pamby, always ready for a joke but a good citizen too, a
-2-
good husband and father. He wasn’t the sort that refused to wheel the perambulator. He flourished the perambulator. His wife could hold up her head, they paid their bills weekly and he even put something away, not much but something, and that was a triumph the way things were, the ten per cent knocked off his salary in the depression not restored yet, and one thing and another. And always cheerful, with a joke for everyone. All this was vaguely present in Ted’s mind. He’d always expected in a trusting sort of way to be rewarded, but not through Grace.
“What are you going to do with it, Ted?
“You won’t see him for a week, he’s going on a jag.” This was very funny because Ted
never did, not even on Anzac Day.
A voice with a grievance said, not for the first time,  “I’ve had shares in a ticket every week since it started, and I’ve never won a cent.”  No one was interested.
“You’ ll be going off on a trip somewhere?”
“They’ ll make you president of the Tennis Club and you’ll have to donate a silver cup.”
They were flattering him underneath the jokes.
“I expect Mrs. Bilborough will want to put some of it away for the children’s future,”  he said. It was almost as if he was giving an interview to the press, and he was pleased with himself for saying the right thing. He always referred to Grace in public as Mrs. Bilborough. He had too nice a social sense to say “the Missus.”
Ted let them talk, and looked out of the window. He wasn’t interested in the news in the paper tonight. The little boat vibrated fussily, and left a long wake like moulding glass in the quiet river.  The evening was drawing in. The sun was sinking into a bank of grey cloud, soft and formless as mist. The air was dusky, so that its light was closed into itself and it was easy to look at, a thick golden disc more like a moon rising through the smoke than the sun. It threw a single column of orange light on the river, the ripples from the ferry fanned out into it, and their tiny shadows truncated it. The bank, rising steeply from the river and closing it in till it looked like a lake, was already bloomed with shadows.
“Five thousand pounds,”  he thought.  “Five thousand pounds.”   Five thousand pounds stewing gently in its interest, making old age safe. He could do almost anything he  could think of with five thousand pounds. It gave his mind a stretched sort of feeling, just to think of it. It was hard to connect five thousand pounds with Grace. She might have let him know. And where had the five and threepence to buy the ticket come from? He
-3-
couldn’t help wondering about that. When you budgeted as carefully as they did there wasn’t five and threepence over. If there had been, well, it wouldn’t have been over at all, he would have put it in the bank. He hadn’t noticed any difference in the housekeeping, and he prided himself he noticed everything. Surely she hadn’t been running up bills to buy lottery tickets. His mind darted here and there suspiciously. There was something secretive in Grace, and he’d thought she told him everything. He’d taken it for granted, only, of course, in the ordinary run there was nothing to tell. He consciously relaxed the knot in his mind. After all, Grace had won the five thousand pounds. He remembered charitably that she had always been a good wife to him. As he thought that he had a vision of the patch on his shirt, his newly washed cream trousers laid out for tennis, the children’s neatness, the tidy house. That was being a good wife. And he had been a good husband, always brought his money home and never looked at another woman. Theirs was a model home, everyone acknowledged it, but—well—somehow he found it easier to be cheerful in other people’s homes than in his own. It was Grace’s fault. She wasn’t cheery and easy going. Something moody about her now. Woody. He’d worn better than Grace, anyone could see that, and yet it was he who had had the hard time. All she had to do was to stay at home and look after the house and the children. Nothing much in that. She always seemed to be working, but he couldn’t see what that was to do that could take  her so long. Just a touch of woman’s perversity. It wasn’t that Grace had aged. Ten years married and with two children, there was still something girlish about her—raw, hard girlishness that had never mellowed. Maybe she’d be a bit brighter now. He could  not help wondering how she had managed the five and three. If she could shower five and three about like that, he’d been giving her too much for the housekeeping. And why did she want to give it that damnfool name, “Last Hope.” That meant there had been others, didn’t it? It probably didn’t mean a thing, just a lucky tag.
A girl on the seat opposite was sewing lace on silkies for her trousseau, working intently in the bad light.
“Another one starting out,”  Ted thought.
“What about it?”  said the man beside him.
Ted hadn’t been listening.
The ferry had tied up at his landing stage and Ted got off. He tried not to show in his walk that his wife had won five thousand pounds. He felt jaunty and tired at once. He walked up the hill with a bunch of other men, his neighbours. They were still teasing him about the money,  they didn’t know how to stop. It was a very still, warm evening. As the sun
-4-
descended into the misty bank on the horizon it picked out the delicate shapes of clouds invisibly sunk in the mass, outlining them with a fine thread of gold.
One by one the men dropped out, turning into side streets or opening garden gates till Ted was alone with a single companion, a man who lived in a semi-detached cottage at the end of the street. They were suddenly very quiet and sober. Ted felt the ache around his mouth where he’d been smiling and smiling.
“I’m awfully glad you’ve had this bit of luck.”
“I’m sure you are, Eric,”  Ted answered in a subdued voice.
“There’s nobody I’d sooner see have it.”
“That’s very decent of you.”
“I mean it.”
“Well, well, I wasn’t looking for it.”
“We could do with a bit of luck like that in our house.”
“I bet you could.”
“There’s an instalment on the house due next month, and Nellie’s got to come home again. Bob can’t get anything to do. Seems as if we’d hardly done paying for the wedding.”
“That’s bad.”
“She’s expecting, so I suppose Mum and Dad will be let in for all that too.”
“It seems only the other day Nellie was a kid getting round on a scooter.”
“They grow up,”  Eric agreed. “It’s the instalment that’s the rub. First of next month. They expect it on the nail too. If we hadn’t that hanging over us it wouldn’t matter about Nellie coming home. She’s our girl, and it’ll be nice to have her about that place again.”
“You’ll be proud as a cow with two tails when you’re a grandpa.”
“I suppose so.”

-5-
They stood mutely by Eric’s gate. An idea began to flicker in Ted’s mind, and with it came a feeling of sweetness and happiness and power such as he had never expected to feel.
“I won’t see you stuck, old man,”  he said.
“That’s awfully decent of you.”
 “I mean it.”
They shook hands as they parted. Ted had only a few steps more and he took them slowly. Very warm and dry, he thought. The garden will need watering. Now he was at his gate. There was no one in sight. He stood for a moment looking about him. It was as if he saw the house he had lived in for ten years, for the first time. He saw that it had a mean, narrow-chested appearance. The roof tiles were discoloured, the woodwork needed painting, the crazy pavement that he had laid with such zeal had an unpleasant flirtatious looks. The revolutionary thought moved in his mind, “We might leave here.”  Measured against the possibilities that lay before him, it looked small and mean. Even the name, “Emoh Ruo” seemed wrong, pokey.
Ted was reluctant to go in. It was so long since anything of the least importance had happened between him and Grace, that it made him shy. He did not know how she would take it. Would she be all in a dither and no dinner ready? He hoped so but feared not.
He went into the hall, hung up his hat and shouted in a big bluff voice, “Well, well, well, and where’s my rich wife?”
****
Grace was in the kitchen dishing up dinner.
“You’re late,”  she said.  “The dinner’s spoiling.”
The children were quiet but restless, anxious to leave the table and go out to play. “I got rid of the reporters,”  Grace said in a flat voice. Grace had character, trust her to handle a couple of cub reporters. She didn’t seem to want to talk about it to her husband either. He felt himself, his voice, his stature dwindling. He looked at her with hard eyes. “Where did she get the money,”  he wondered again, but more sharply.
Presently they were alone. There was a pause. Grace began to clear the table. Ted felt that he must do something. He took her awkwardly into his arms.  “Gracie, aren’t you pleased?”
-6-
She stared at him a second then her face seemed to fall together, a sort of spasm, something worse than tears. But she twitched away from him. “Yes,”  she said, picking up a pile of crockery and making for the kitchen. He followed her.
“You’re a dark horse, never telling me a word about it.”
 “She’s like ice,”  he thought.
She moved about the kitchen with quick nervous movements. After a moment, she answered what was in his mind:
“I sold mother’s ring and chain. A man came to the door buying old gold. I bought a ticket every week till the money was gone.”
“Oh,”  he said.  Grace had sold her mother’s wedding ring to buy a lottery ticket.
“It was my money.”
“I didn’t say it wasn’t.”
“No, you didn’t.”
The plates chattered in her hands. She was evidently feeling something, and feeling it strongly. But Ted didn’t know what. He couldn’t make her out.
She came and stood in front of him, her back to the littered table, her whole body taut.
”I suppose you’re wondering what I’m going to do?  I’ll tell you. I’m going away. By myself. Before it is too late. I’m going tomorrow.”
He didn’t seem to be taking it in.
“Beattie will come and look after you and the children. She’ll be glad to. It won’t cost you a penny more than it does now,”  she added.
He stood staring at her, his flaccid hands hanging down, his face sagging.
“Then you meant what it said in the paper, ‘Last Hope’?”   he said.
“Yes,”   she answered.