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《劳拉》-4页

(2006-11-02 09:04:55)
分类: 翻译小说
她作为现代女性的典范而受到赞美。女权集会和午后慈善茶会,也要她演讲。她心满意足。
现在她应邀离开西方,到梦寐以求的神话境地,如同非洲的原野。她的热病有几个月没复发了。离开西方不会有危险了,希望旅游期间她会保持健康。她可以看见美国西部的东西,也许有机会猎牛或碰见恶棍或真正的印第安人。
于维吉利亚,客厅的窗帘镶着花边,她伫立窗前,很激动,眺注美丽的季夏风景,手指摆弄着海伦姨妈的来信,很高兴。特勒蒙在德克萨斯东部,那里有四个亲戚:柴斯特姨夫,海伦姨妈,和表兄妹,考特,梅丽飒。考特去南极探险了。梅丽飒感到难熬地孤寂,最好的朋友因结婚而搬走了。海伦姨妈叫劳拉到德克萨斯东部的农场来住几个星期,好让梅丽高兴一点。
有一次,劳拉乘火车到加利福尼亚,由车窗看到大西洋和太平洋之间的旷野。她开始了解了农场和德克萨斯人了。他们看来都很浪漫。勇猛的牛仔,与印地安人搏击,拯救妇女和儿童,建立英雄伟业,这些在她脑海里一幕幕显现,她好像想起了老比德的一便士小说,就是她后来读的那些小说。要是拜访过农场的亲戚,她就会碰见真实的牛仔。这样也许是冒险,即便不会遇见狮子和猎狗。这也许是一次探险,她可以有第二次机会检验她的勇气,来证明她自己不会因为长期遭受非洲热的打击而秃废。
She was lauded as a prime example of the modern woman. She was asked to speak at women's suffrage rallies and afternoon charity teas. She rested on her laurels.
Now she was being invited out West, to a fabled land she'd read about and always dreamed of seeing, a region that was as potentially wild as Africa. Her fever had not recurred for several months. Surely there would be no risks out West, and hopefully she would remain healthy for the duration of her visit. She could see something of the Wild West, and perhaps there would be an opportunity to shoot a buffalo or meet a desperado or a real Indian.
She stood with brimming excitement at the lace curtains of the family parlor in Virginia, looking out at the pretty late summer landscape while she fingered the letter from her aunt Helen with delight. There were four Tremaynes of East Texas: her uncle Chester, her aunt Helen, and her cousins, Colter and Melissa. Colter was on an expedition to the North Pole. Melissa was desperately lonely since her best friend had married and moved away. Aunt Helen wanted Nora to come and spend a few weeks on the ranch in East Texas and help cheer Melly a little.
Nora had once taken the train to California and had seen the rugged country between the Atlantic and Pacific through the window. She had read about ranches and Texans. They both sounded romantic. Dashing cowboys fighting Indians and one another, rescuing women and children, and making all sorts of heroic sacrifices paraded through her mind as she recalled the old Beadle dime novels that she'd been reading of late. She would meet a real cowboy if she went to visit her kinfolks on the ranch. And it would be an adventure, even if it didn't involve lions and hunters. It would be a great adventure and she would have a second chance to test her courage, to prove to herself that she wasn't crippled by the African fever that had kept her confined so long.

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