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《劳拉》-8页

(2006-11-07 20:42:32)
分类: 翻译小说
《劳拉》-8页
有一次,柴斯特姨夫和海伦姨妈回维吉利亚的父母家时,柴斯特姨夫告诉过她,在德克萨斯,大部分农场,现在都是属于大公司的,有大量的业务。甚至,柴斯特的农场也是属于德克萨斯西部一家大公司所有,他管理农场,是拿工资的。农场帝国的缔造者,查里思金,在德克萨斯东南部,建立了著名的农场,而在德克萨斯西部与其齐名的农场巨头,就是布兰德卡亨了,那种开拓的日子永远不复返了。
这年代,石油钢铁就是钱。洛克非勒和卡尼吉控制了工业,就像莫根和温德伯控制了国道,福特控制了时髦的运输工具——汽车。这是帝国缔造者的年代,但是,是工业的缔造者,不是农场的缔造者。牧牛和牛仔的日子几乎完结了。海伦姨妈写信说过,几年前,有些地质学家说了,在海湾周围的土地可能蕴藏着真正的油田,一帮勘探者就在波蒙特四处打井想找到石油。她觉得这想法很逗人。似乎任何人都可以在这富饶油绿的土地上找到一块特棒的油田。
沉浸在思考中的劳拉恍惚看到一个非凡而高大的男人,穿着皮裤,套着靴子,戴着黑色史特桑帽子,穿过尘土飞扬的街道,朝车站走来。现在,是一个真实的牛仔!她的心跳加快,她想象他是多么勇猛的男人呀。太懊丧了,看着那样的男人踏上印第安人的不归途,在轨道的尽头消失了!谁来拯救孤儿寡母,驱逐红毛人?
Uncle Chester had told her once when he and Helen visited the family home in Virginia that most of the ranches in Texas these days were owned of corporations, held by big business. Even Chester's ranch was owned by a big West Texas conglomerate, and he was paid a salary for managing it. The old days of ranching empire builders like Rechard King, who had founded the famous King Ranch in southeast Texas, and the equally famous ranching giant Brant Culhane out in West Texas, were gone forever.
These days the money was in oil and steel. Rochkefeller and Carnegie had control of those industries, just as J.P.Morgan and Cornelius Vanderbilt controlled the nation's railroads, and Henry Ford the new transportation rage, the automobile. It was an era of empire builders, but industrial ones, not agricultural ones. The day of the cattleman and the cowboy was almost at an end. Aunt Helen had written that a handful of prospectors were drilling for oil over at Beaumont, because some geologist had said a few years ago that the land around the Gulf was probably sitting on a veritable lake of oil. She found the thought amusing. As if anyone were going to find great patches of oil in this lush green land!
As she considered that, Nora absently watched a striking, tall man in chaps and boots and a dark Stetson walk through the dusty street toward the station. Now, there was a real cowboy! Her heart quickened as she imagined what sort of dashing man he was. What a shame to see men like that go the way of the Indian, driven to extinction at the end of a railroad track! Who would rescue widows and orphans and fight off the red man?

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