Lesson 57 Back in the old country 重返故里

來源:大家網 發布日期:2011-05-24 13:26

             Lesson 57
         Back in the old country
Listen to the tape then answer the question below.
Did the narrator find is mother's grave?

    I stopped to let the car cool off and to study the map. I had expected to be near my objective by now, but everything still seemed alien to me. I was only five when my father had taken me abroad, and that we eighteen years ago. When my mother had died after a tragic accident, he did not quickly recover from the shock and loneliness. Everything around him was full of her presence, continually reopening the wound. So he decided to emigrate. In the new country he became absorbed in making a new life for the two of us, so that he gradually ceased to grieve. He did not marry again and I was brought up without a woman's care; but I lacked for nothing, for he was both father and mother to me. He always meant to go back on day, but not to stay. His roots and mine bad become too firmly embedded in the new land. But he wanted to see the old folk again and to visit my mother's grave. He became mortally ill a few months before we had planned to go and, when he knew that he was dying, he made me promise to go on my own.
    I hired a car the day after landing and bought a comprehensive book of maps, which I found most helpful on the cross-country journey, but which I did not think I should need on the last stage. It was not that I actually remembered anything at all. But my father had described over and over again what we should see at every milestone, after leaving the nearest town, so that I was positive I should recognize it as familiar territory. Well, I had been wrong, for I was now lost.
    I looked at the map and then at the millimeter. I had come ten miles since leaving the town, and at this point, according to my father, I should be looking at farms and cottages in a valley, with the spire of the church of our village showing in the far distance. I could see no valley, no farms, no cottages and no church spire -- only a lake. I decided that I must have taken a wrong turning somewhere. So I drove back to the town and began to retrace the route, taking frequent glances at the map. I landed up at the same corner. The curious thing was that the lake was not marked on the map. I left as if I had stumbled into a nightmare country, as you sometimes do in dreams. And, as in a nightmare, there was nobody in sight to help me. Fortunately for me, as I was wondering what to do next, there appeared on the horizon a man on horseback, riding in my direction. I waited till he came near, then I asked him the way to our old village. He said that there was now no village. I thought he must have misunderstood me, so I repeated its name. This time he pointed to the lake. The village no longer existed because it had been submerged, and all the valley too. The lake was not a natural one, but a man-made reservoir.

New words and expressions 生詞和短語

adj. 異國的,外國的

v.   移居(國外)

v.   全神貫注于

adj. 扎牢的

adv. 致命地

adj. 廣泛的;豐富的

n.   里程碑

n.   領地;地區

n.   計程表

n.  (教堂的)塔尖

v.   返回,重走

v.   趔趄地走

n.   地平線

n.   水庫


    我停下車,讓汽車發動機冷卻一下,同時查看一下地圖。我本想離目的地已經不遠,但周圍一切對我仍很陌生。我5歲那年,父親就帶我出了國,那是18年前的事了。當時我母親在一次事故中慘死,父親未能很快從悲痛與孤獨中恢復過來。他身邊的一切都是母親的影子不斷勾起他的傷感。于是他決定移居他國。在這個新的國家里,父親專心致志地為我們倆開創一種新的生活,慢慢地不傷心了。父親沒有再娶,因此,我在沒有母親的環境里長大成人。但我卻什么都不缺,他既當父親又當母親。他總想將來回國看看,但卻不愿長期住下去,因為他與我一樣已經把根深深地扎在異國的土地上。 但是,他想看一看家鄉父老鄉親,為我的母親掃墓。就在他計劃回國的前幾個月,他突然身患絕癥。他知道自己已奄奄一息,于是他要我答應一定單獨回故鄉一趟。