WPE 文集 Read for Fun
After Twenty Years O.Henry
美国著名作家O.Henry 的同名小说”After Twenty Years”有着深刻的社会意义。犯罪是各国面临的共同问题。为什么一个人会成为罪犯，如何防止这类悲剧上演？是值得人们深思的大问题。
The policeman on duty walked along a New York street .A cold wind was blowing in his face. It was nearly ten o’clock at night .There were very few people out in the street .
In the doorway of a small shop, a man was standing in the dim light ,with an unlighted cigar in his mouth . The policeman slowed down his walk and watched. Then he walked up to the man .
“It’s all right, officer,” the man said quickly, as he found the policeman coming up to him. “I’m just waiting for a friend here. It’s an appointment made twenty years ago. It sounds a little funny to you , doesn’t it ?Well, let me explain if you are interested. About twenty years ago, there used to be a restaurant here, right in the place where this shop stands…
“It was knocked down five years ago,” the policeman said.
The man in the doorway struck a match and lighted his cigar . The light showed a pale face with a little white scar (疤)near his right eye.
“Twenty years ago tonight,” the man went on, “ I had dinner here at the restaurant with Jimmy Wells, my best friend. He and I were both brought up here in New York.(我们俩都是在纽约长大的)We had been close friends, just like brothers, ever since our childhood. (从童年起,我们就亲如兄弟)The next morning I was to start for the West to make my fortune (make one’s fortune 发财)
When we said goodbye to each other that night , we agreed we would meet here again exactly twenty years from that date and time , no matter what might happen to us or from what place we might have to come .”
“It sounds interesting, “ said the policeman . “Haven’t you ever heard from your friend since you left ? “
“Well, yes , for a time we wrote to each other ,” said the other man. “But after a year or two we lost touch. (失去了联系) You see , the West is a big place and I kept moving around . But I know Jimmy will meet me here if he is still alive. He is the truest friend of mine .”
Then the man took out from his pocket a small handsome gold watch. The diamonds on the watch shone in the dark. “Three minutes to ten ,” he said . “It was exactly ten o’clock when we departed here at the restaurant door .”
“You did well out in the West, didn’t you ?” asked the policeman .
“Sure! I hope Jimmy has done half as well. (我希望Jimmy的光景能赶上我的一半就好)Well, it is not easy anyway. I’ve had to move about all these years…”
A gust of cold wind was blowing across the street. For a moment there was silence. Neither of the men spoke a word . Then the policeman started to move away.
“I’ll be on my way ,” he said . “I hope your friend will come around soon. Are you going to leave here if he doesn’t come on time?”
“No,” said the other man . “I’ll wait for half an hour at least. If Jimmy is alive on earth , he’ll be here by that time. Good night, officer.”
“Goodnight, sir,” said the policeman, walking on along the empty street.
The man waited at the door for about twenty minutes, and then a tall man hurried across the street. He was in a dark overcoat ,with the collar turned up to his ears. He went directly to the waiting man.
“Is that you , Bob ?” he asked.
“Is that you , Jimmy Wells ?”cried the man in the doorway. It was clear that he was in a great excitement.
The tall man took the other’s hands in his own. “It’s Bob, sure. I was certain I would find you here. Well,well,well——twenty years is a long time . The old restaurant is gone, Bob. I wish it was here so that we could have another dinner together. How were things with you in the West, Bob ?”
“Well, I have managed to get everything I need. You have changed a lot, Jimmy. I never thought you were so tall.”
“Oh, I grew a bit after you left.”
“Are you doing well here in New York, Jimmy?”
“So,so. I have a job in an office in one of the city departments. Come on, Bob. We’ll go around to find a place and have a good long talk about the old times (talk….叙谈往事)
At the corner of the street, there was a big store. The lights were still on. (灯还亮着)When they came into the light, they both turned to look at each other’s face.
The man from the West stoped [注](stopped)suddenly.
“You’re not Jimmy Wells,”he said. “Twenty years is a long time, but not long enough to change a man’s face.”(20年的时间是很长,但还不足以改变一个人的面貌)There was suspicion in his voice.
“It sometimes changes a good man into a bad one,” said the tall man .” You are under arrest now. (你现在被逮捕了) The Chicago police thinks you may have come to this city and has told us that they want to have a chat with you. (他们要把你逮捕归案[委婉语])Well,before we go to the station, here is a note for you. It is from your friend.”
The man from the West trembled a little as he read the note. It read:
“Bob: I was at the appointed place on time. When you struck the match to light your cigar I saw it was the face of the man wanted in Chicago. Somehow I couldn’t do it myself, so I went around and got a plain clothes man to do the job. (Somehow…the job .我总是有点于心不忍,只得去找个便衣警察来逮捕你)