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《劳拉》-75页

(2007-01-09 15:26:30)
分类: 翻译小说
   "在非洲旅行怎么了?"他继续问。  
    她脸色发白,转动着眼睛。"我不喜欢谈非洲。那是……晦暗的记忆。"   
  她的话和她的表情使他惊诧。她变得太诡秘了。  
  "周六晚上妇女俱乐部在礼堂有一个活动,"他想起来了。"我义务为她们做事,我是组织者之一。你愿意做我的舞伴吗?"   
  她惊悸愕然。思绪迷惘,瞧着他,克制不住她的激动。"舞伴……你的?"   
   "就牛仔而言,我舞跳得很好,"他乐呵呵告诉她。"我保证穿最好的靴子,洒很多香水。你相信我,一定会谨慎。"  
  她泛着红晕,姨妈多次告诉她要注意别人的社会地位。在公共场合,让别人看见她与农场的领班在一起,不仅会使她尴尬,也会使她的家人感到尴尬。  
  看着她抵触的表情,他的脸落寞了。"也许最好选择镇上某个姑娘,"他耷拉着脸说。   
  劳拉还没来得及,他就楞楞敲门进去了。走时,也没看她一眼。他生气了。回到西德克萨斯,妇女们都争先恐后要引起他的注意。从东部回来的最好的家庭都邀请他坐坐,希望他能和他们的某个女儿选配。像劳拉一样,他习惯财富和地位,但是在化装舞会,他只是一个男人的地位。没有把真相告诉劳拉。 
 
 "And what of the safari in Africa?" he persisted.
She paled and averted her eyes. "I do not like to speak of Africa. It is a...tarnished memory."
  He wondered at her wording and the expression on her face. What a puzzle she was becoming.
  "There is a Women's Club social at the courthouse on Saturday evening," he recalled. "I have been appropriated for it, by one of the organizers. Would you partner me?"
  Her heart stopped and then ran away. Her mind whirled through her wardrobe and she looked up at him with barely subdued excitement. "Partner...you?" 
 "I dance rather well for a cowboy," he told her amusedly. "And I promise to wear my best boots and plenty of cologne. You may trust me to be discreet."
  She colored, because her aunt Helen had repeatedly made her aware of the social distance between them. To be seen with a ranch foreman in public would embarrass not only her, but her family. 
  He saw her conflicting expression and his face closed up. "Perhaps one of the town girls would be a better choice after all," he said tautly. "One of them would not be so far above me on the social scale."
  Before Nora had time to reach, he knocked curtly on the door and was admitted. When he left, he didn't even look her way. He was fuming. Back in West Texas, women had vied for his attentions. The best families from back East had invited him to stay, in hopes of making a match between him and one of their daughters. He was as accustomed to wealth and position as Nora herself, but he was in the position of a man at a masquerade. He could not tell her the truth. 

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