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高级英语第一册 12.The Loons

时间:2010-12-17 02:58来源:互联网 提供网友:uf1348   字体: [ ]

  12.The Loons
  Margarel Laurence
  Just below Manawaka, where the Wachakwa River ran brown and noisy over the pebbles , the scrub oak and grey-green willow and chokecherry bushes grew in a dense thicket . In a clearing at the centre of the thicket stood the Tonnerre family's shack. The basis at this dwelling was a small square cabin made of poplar poles and chinked with mud, which had been built by Jules Tonnerre some fifty years before, when he came back from Batoche with a bullet in his thigh, the year that Riel was hung and the voices of the Metis entered their long silence. Jules had only intended to stay the winter in the Wachakwa Valley, but the family was still there in the thirties, when I was a child. As the Tonnerres had increased, their settlement had been added to, until the clearing at the foot of the town hill was a chaos of lean-tos, wooden packing cases, warped lumber, discarded car types, ramshackle chicken coops , tangled strands of barbed wire and rusty tin cans.
  The Tonnerres were French half breeds, and among themselves they spoke a patois that was neither Cree nor French. Their English was broken and full of obscenities . They did not belong among the Cree of the Galloping Mountain reservation, further north, and they did not belong among the Scots-Irish and Ukrainians of Manawaka, either. They were, as my Grandmother MacLeod would have put it, neither flesh, fowl, nor good salt herring . When their men were not working at odd jobs or as section hands on the C.P. R. they lived on relief. In the summers, one of the Tonnerre youngsters, with a face that seemed totally unfamiliar with laughter, would knock at the doors of the town's brick houses and offer for sale a lard -pail full of bruised wild strawberries, and if he got as much as a quarter he would grab the coin and run before the customer had time to change her mind. Sometimes old Jules, or his son Lazarus, would get mixed up in a Saturday-night brawl , and would hit out at whoever was nearest or howl drunkenly among the offended shoppers on Main Street, and then the Mountie would put them for the night in the barred cell underneath the Court House, and the next morning they would be quiet again.
  Piquette Tonnerre, the daughter of Lazarus, was in my class at school. She was older than I, but she had failed several grades, perhaps because her attendance had always been sporadic and her interest in schoolwork negligible . Part of the reason she had missed a lot of school was that she had had tuberculosis of the bone, and had once spent many months in hospital. I knew this because my father was the doctor who had looked after her. Her sickness was almost the only thing I knew about her, however. Otherwise, she existed for me only as a vaguely embarrassing presence, with her hoarse voice and her clumsy limping walk and her grimy cotton dresses that were always miles too long. I was neither friendly nor unfriendly towards her. She dwelt and moved somewhere within my scope of vision, but I did not actually notice her very much until that peculiar summer when I was eleven.
  "I don't know what to do about that kid." my father said at dinner one evening. "Piquette Tonnerre, I mean. The damn bone's flared up again. I've had her in hospital for quite a while now, and it's under control all right, but I hate like the dickens to send her home again."
  "Couldn't you explain to her mother that she has to rest a lot?" my mother said.
  "The mother's not there" my father replied. "She took off a few years back. Can't say I blame her. Piquette cooks for them, and she says Lazarus would never do anything for himself as long as she's there. Anyway, I don't think she'd take much care of herself, once she got back. She's only thirteen, after all. Beth, I was thinking—What about taking her up to Diamond Lake with us this summer? A couple of months rest would give that bone a much better chance."
  My mother looked stunned.
  "But Ewen -- what about Roddie and Vanessa?"
  "She's not contagious ," my father said. "And it would be company for Vanessa."
  "Oh dear," my mother said in distress, "I'll bet anything she has nits in her hair."
  "For Pete's sake," my father said crossly, "do you think Matron would let her stay in the hospital for all this time like that? Don't be silly, Beth. "
  Grandmother MacLeod, her delicately featured face as rigid as a cameo , now brought her mauve -veined hands together as though she were about to begin prayer.
  "Ewen, if that half breed youngster comes along to Diamond Lake, I'm not going," she announced. "I'll go to Morag's for the summer."
  I had trouble in stifling my urge to laugh, for my mother brightened visibly and quickly tried to hide it. If it came to a choice between Grandmother MacLeod and Piquette, Piquette would win hands down, nits or not.
  "It might be quite nice for you, at that," she mused. "You haven't seen Morag for over a year, and you might enjoy being in the city for a while. Well, Ewen dear, you do what you think best. If you think it would do Piquette some good, then we' II be glad to have her, as long as she behaves herself."
  So it happened that several weeks later, when we all piled into my father's old Nash, surrounded by suitcases and boxes of provisions and toys for my ten-month-old brother, Piquette was with us and Grandmother MacLeod, miraculously, was not. My father would only be staying at the cottage for a couple of weeks, for he had to get back to his practice, but the rest of us would stay at Diamond Lake until the end of August.
  Our cottage was not named, as many were, "Dew Drop Inn" or "Bide-a-Wee," or "Bonnie Doon”. The sign on the roadway bore in austere letters only our name, MacLeod. It was not a large cottage, but it was on the lakefront. You could look out the windows and see, through the filigree of the spruce trees, the water glistening greenly as the sun caught it. All around the cottage were ferns, and sharp-branched raspberrybushes, and moss that had grown over fallen tree trunks, If you looked carefully among the weeds and grass, you could find wild strawberry plants which were in white flower now and in another month would bear fruit, the fragrant globes hanging like miniaturescarlet lanterns on the thin hairy stems. The two grey squirrels were still there, gossiping at us from the tall spruce beside the cottage, and by the end of the summer they would again be tame enough to take pieces of crust from my hands. The broad mooseantlers that hung above the back door were a little more bleached and fissured after the winter, but otherwise everything was the same. I raced joyfully around my kingdom, greeting all the places I had not seen for a year. My brother, Roderick, who had not been born when we were here last summer, sat on the car rug in the sunshine and examined a brown spruce cone, meticulously turning it round and round in his small and curious hands. My mother and father toted the luggage from car to cottage, exclaiming over how well the place had wintered, no broken windows, thank goodness, no apparent damage from storm felled branches or snow.
  Only after I had finished looking around did I notice Piquette. She was sitting on the swing her lame leg held stiffly out, and her other foot scuffing the ground as she swung slowly back and forth. Her long hair hung black and straight around her shoulders, and her broad coarse-featured face bore no expression -- it was blank, as though she no longer dwelt within her own skull, as though she had gone elsewhere.
  I approached her very hesitantly.
  "Want to come and play?"
  Piquette looked at me with a sudden flash of scorn.
  "I ain't a kid," she said.
  Wounded, I stamped angrily away, swearing I would not speak to her for the rest of the summer. In the days that followed, however, Piquette began to interest me, and l began to want to interest her. My reasons did not appear bizarre to me. Unlikely as it may seem, I had only just realised that the Tonnerre family, whom I had always heard Called half breeds, were actually Indians, or as near as made no difference. My acquaintance with Indians was not expensive. I did not remember ever having seen a real Indian, and my new awareness that Piquette sprang from the people of Big Bear and Poundmaker, of Tecumseh, of the Iroquois who had eaten Father Brébeuf's heart--all this gave her an instant attraction in my eyes. I was devoted reader of Pauline Johnson at this age, and sometimes would orate aloud and in an exalted voice, West Wind, blow from your prairie nest, Blow from the mountains, blow from the west--and so on. It seemed to me that Piquette must be in some way a daughter of the forest, a kind of junior prophetess of the wilds, who might impart to me, if I took the right approach, some of the secrets which she undoubtedly knew --where the whippoorwill made her nest, how the coyote reared her young, or whatever it was that it said in Hiawatha.
  I set about gaining Piquette's trust. She was not allowed to go swimming, with her bad leg, but I managed to lure her down to the beach-- or rather, she came because there was nothing else to do. The water was always icy, for the lake was fed by springs, but I swam like a dog, thrashing my arms and legs around at such speed and with such an output of energy that I never grew cold. Finally, when I had enough, I came out and sat beside Piquette on the sand. When she saw me approaching, her hands squashed flat the sand castle she had been building, and she looked at me sullenly, without speaking.
  "Do you like this place?" I asked, after a while, intending to lead on from there into the question of forest lore .
  Piquette shrugged. "It's okay. Good as anywhere."
  "I love it, "1 said. "We come here every summer."
  "So what?" Her voice was distant, and I glanced at her uncertainly, wondering what I could have said wrong.
  "Do you want to come for a walk?" I asked her. "We wouldn't need to go far. If you walk just around the point there, you come to a bay where great big reeds grow in the water, and all kinds of fish hang around there. Want to? Come on."
  She shook her head.
  "Your dad said I ain't supposed to do no more walking than I got to." I tried another line.
  "I bet you know a lot about the woods and all that, eh?" I began respectfully.
  Piquette looked at me from her large dark unsmiling eyes.
  "I don't know what in hell you're talkin' about," she replied. "You nuts or somethin'? If you mean where my old man, and me, and all them live, you better shut up, by Jesus, you hear?"
  I was startled and my feelings were hurt, but I had a kind of dogged perseverance. I ignored her rebuff.
  "You know something, Piquette? There's loons here, on this lake. You can see their nests just up the shore there, behind those logs. At night, you can hear them even from the cottage, but it's better to listen from the beach. My dad says we should listen and try to remember how they sound, because in a few years when more cottages are built at Diamond Lake and more people come in, the loons will go away."
  Piquette was picking up stones and snail shells and then dropping them again.
  "Who gives a good goddamn?" she said.
  It became increasingly obvious that, as an Indian, Piquette was a dead loss. That evening I went out by myself, scrambling through the bushes that overhung the steep path, my feet slipping on the fallen spruce needles that covered the ground. When I reached the shore, I walked along the firm damp sand to the small pier that my father had built, and sat down there. I heard someone else crashing through the undergrowth and the bracken, and for a moment I thought Piquette had changed her mind, but it turned out to be my father. He sat beside me on the pier and we waited, without speaking.
  At night the lake was like black glass with a streak of amber which was the path of the moon. All around, the spruce trees grew tall and close-set, branches blackly sharp against the sky, which was lightened by a cold flickering of stars. Then the loons began their calling. They rose like phantom birds from the nests on the shore, and flew out onto the dark still surface of the water.
  No one can ever describe that ululating sound, the crying of the loons, and no one who has heard it can ever forget it. Plaintive , and yet with a quality of chilling mockery , those voices belonged to a world separated by aeon from our neat world of summer cottages and the lighted lamps of home.
  "They must have sounded just like that," my father remarked, "before any person ever set foot here." Then he laughed. "You could say the same, of course, about sparrows or chipmunk, but somehow it only strikes you that way with the loons."
  "I know," I said.
  Neither of us suspected that this would be the last time we would ever sit here together on the shore, listening. We stayed for perhaps half an hour, and then we went back to the cottage. My mother was reading beside the fireplace. Piquette was looking at the burning birch log, and not doing anything.
  "You should have come along," I said, although in fact I was glad she had not.
  "Not me", Piquette said. "You wouldn’ catch me walkin' way down there jus' for a bunch of squawkin' birds."
  Piquette and I remained ill at ease with one another. felt I had somehow failed my father, but I did not know what was the matter, nor why she Would not or could not respond when I suggested exploring the woods or Playing house. I thought it was probably her slow and difficult walking that held her back. She stayed most of the time in the cottage with my mother, helping her with the dishes or with Roddie, but hardly ever talking. Then the Duncans arrived at their cottage, and I spent my days with Mavis, who was my best friend. I could not reach Piquette at all, and I soon lost interest in trying. But all that summer she remained as both a reproach and a mystery to me.
  That winter my father died of pneumonia, after less than a week's illness. For some time I saw nothing around me, being completely immersed in my own pain and my mother's. When I looked outward once more, I scarcely noticed that Piquette Tonnerre was no longer at school. I do not remember seeing her at all until four years later, one Saturday night when Mavis and I were having Cokes in the Regal Café. The jukebox was booming like tuneful thunder, and beside it, leaning lightly on its chrome and its rainbow glass, was a girl.
  Piquette must have been seventeen then, although she looked about twenty. I stared at her, astounded that anyone could have changed so much. Her face, so stolidand expressionless before, was animated now with a gaiety that was almost violent. She laughed and talked very loudly with the boys around her. Her lipstick was bright carmine, and her hair was cut Short and frizzily permed . She had not been pretty as a child, and she was not pretty now, for her features were still heavy and blunt. But her dark and slightly slanted eyes were beautiful, and her skin-tight skirt and orange sweater displayed to enviable advantage a soft and slender body.
  She saw me, and walked over. She teetered a little, but it was not due to her once-tubercular leg, for her limp was almost gone.
  "Hi, Vanessa," Her voice still had the same hoarseness . "Long time no see, eh?"
  "Hi," I said "Where've you been keeping yourself, Piquette?"
  "Oh, I been around," she said. "I been away almost two years now. Been all over the place--Winnipeg, Regina, Saskatoon. Jesus, what I could tell you! I come back this summer, but I ain't stayin'. You kids go in to the dance?"
  "No," I said abruptly, for this was a sore point with me. I was fifteen, and thought I was old enough to go to the Saturday-night dances at the Flamingo. My mother, however, thought otherwise.
  "Y'oughta come," Piquette said. "I never miss one. It's just about the on'y thing in this jerkwater
  town that's any fun. Boy, you couldn' catch me stayin' here. I don' give a shit about this place. It stinks."
  She sat down beside me, and I caught the harsh over-sweetness of her perfume.
  "Listen, you wanna know something, Vanessa?" she confided , her voice only slightly blurred. "Your dad was the only person in Manawaka that ever done anything good to me."
  I nodded speechlessly. I was certain she was speaking the truth. I knew a little more than I had that summer at Diamond Lake, but I could not reach her now any more than I had then, I was ashamed, ashamed of my own timidity, the frightened tendency to look the other way. Yet I felt no real warmth towards her-- I only felt that I ought to, because of that distant summer and because my father had hoped she would be company for me, or perhaps that I would be for her, but it had not happened that way. At this moment, meeting her again, I had to admit that she repelled and embarrassed me, and I could not help despising the self-pity in her voice. I wished she would go away. I did not want to see her did not know what to say to her. It seemed that we had nothing to say to one another.
  "I'll tell you something else," Piquette went on. "All the old bitches an' biddies in this town will sure be surprised. I'm gettin' married this fall -- my boy friend, he's an English fella, works in the stockyards in the city there, a very tall guy, got blond wavy hair. Gee, is he ever handsome. Got this real Hiroshima name. Alvin Gerald Cummings--some handle, eh? They call him Al."
  For the merest instant, then I saw her. I really did see her, for the first and only time in all the years we had both lived in the same town. Her defiant face, momentarily, became unguarded and unmasked, and in her eyes there was a terrifying hope.
  "Gee, Piquette --" I burst out awkwardly, "that's swell. That's really wonderful. Congratulations—good luck--I hope you'll be happy--"
  As l mouthed the conventional phrases, I could only guess how great her need must have been, that she had been forced to seek the very things she so bitterly rejected.
  When I was eighteen, I left Manawaka and went away to college. At the end of my first year, I came back home for the summer. I spent the first few days in talking non-stop with my mother, as we exchanged all the news that somehow had not found its way into letters-- what had happened in my life and what had happened here in Manawaka while I was away. My mother searched her memory for events that concerned people I knew.
  "Did I ever write you about Piquette Tonnerre, Vanessa?" she asked one morning.
  "No, I don't think so," I replied. "Last I heard of her, she was going to marry some guy in the city. Is she still there?"
  My mother looked Hiroshima , and it was a moment before she spoke, as though she did not know how to express what she had to tell and wished she did not need to try.
  "She's dead," she said at last. Then, as I stared at her, "Oh, Vanessa, when it happened, I couldn't help thinking of her as she was that summer--so sullen and gauche and badly dressed. I couldn't help wondering if we could have done something more at that time--but what could we do? She used to be around in the cottage there with me all day, and honestly it was all I could do to get a word out of her. She didn't even talk to your father very much, although I think she liked him in her way."
  "What happened?" I asked.
  "Either her husband left her, or she left him," my mother said. "I don't know which. Anyway, she came back here with two youngsters, both only babies--they must have been born very close together. She kept house, I guess, for Lazarus and her brothers, down in the valley there, in the old Tonnerre place. I used to see her on the street sometimes, but she never spoke to me. She'd put on an awful lot of weight, and she looked a mess, to tell you the truth, a real slattern , dressed any old how. She was up in court a couple of times--drunk and disorderly, of course. One Saturday night last winter, during the coldest weather, Piquette was alone in the shack with the children. The Tonnerres made home brew all the time, so I've heard, and Lazarus said later she'd been drinking most of the day when he and the boys went out that evening. They had an old woodstove there--you know the kind, with exposed pipes. The shack caught fire. Piquette didn't get out, and neither did the children."
  I did not say anything. As so often with Piquette, there did not seem to be anything to say. There was a kind of silence around the image in my mind of the fire and the snow, and I wished I could put from my memory the look that I had seen once in Piquette's eyes.
  I went up to Diamond Lake for a few days that summer, with Mavis and her family. The MacLeod cottage had been sold after my father's death, and I did not even go to look at it, not wanting to witness my long-ago kingdom possessed now by strangers. But one evening I went clown to the shore by myself.
  The small pier which my father had built was gone, and in its place there was a large and solid pier built by the government, for Galloping Mountain was now a national park, and Diamond Lake had been re-named Lake Wapakata, for it was felt that an Indian name would have a greater appeal to tourists. The one store had become several dozen, and the settlement had all the attributes of a flourishing resort--hotels, a dance-hall, cafes with neon signs, the penetrating odoursof potato chips and hot dogs.
  I sat on the government pier and looked out across the water. At night the lake at least was the same as it had always been, darkly shining and bearing within its black glass the streak of amber that was the path of the moon. There was no wind that evening, and everything was quiet all around me. It seemed too quiet, and then I realized that the loons were no longer here. I listened for some time, to make sure, but never once did I hear that long-drawn call, half mocking and half plaintive, spearing through the stillness across the lake.
  I did not know what had happened to the birds. Perhaps they had gone away to some far place of belonging. Perhaps they had been unable to find such a place, and had simply died out, having ceased to care any longer whether they lived or not. I remembered how Piquette had scorned to come along, when my father and I sat there and listened to the lake birds. It seemed to me now that in some unconscious and totally unrecognized way, Piquette might have been the only one, after all, who had heard the crying of the loons.

  "她妈妈不在了,"我父亲回答说。"几年前她就离家出走了。也不能怪她。皮格特为他们烧火做饭,她说只要她在家拉扎鲁便什么也不干。不管怎么说,只要她一回到家里,我看她就很难保养好自己的身体了。毕竟她才十三岁呀。贝丝,我在想--咱们全家去钻石湖避暑时把她也一道带去,你看怎么样?好好休养两个月会使她的骨病治愈的希望大大增加。" 我母亲满脸惊讶的神色。
  "你想不想去散散步?"我问她。"我们不必走得太远。只要绕过那边的那个湖岬,你就会看到一个浅水湾,那儿的水中长着高大的芦苇,芦苇丛中游动着各种各样的鱼儿。想去吗?快来吧。"   她摇了摇头。
  "凡乃莎,我在信中对你讲过皮格特?坦纳瑞的情况了吗?"有一天早上,她这样问我。 "没有,我想是没有,"我回答说。"我所知道的有关她的最新消息,是她即将同城里的某个小伙子结婚。她还在城里吗?"
  pebble ( n.) : a small stone worn smooth and round,as by the action of water卵石;细砾
  scrub (adj. ) :short,stunted矮小的;瘦小的
  chokecherry ( n.) :a North American wild cherry tree美洲稠李
  thicket ( n.) :a thick growth of shrubs,underbrush or small trees灌木丛,植丛
  shack ( n.) :[Am.]a small house or cabin that is crudely built and furnished;shanty[美]简陋的小屋;棚屋
  chink ( v.) :close up the chinks in堵塞(裂缝、缝隙)
  thigh ( n.) :part of the leg in man and other vertebrates between the knee and the hip;region of the thighbone,or femur股,大腿
  chaos ( n.) :extreme confusion or disorder纷乱,混乱(状态),无秩序
  lean-to ( n.) :a shed with a one-slope roof,the upper end of the rafters resting against an external support,such as trees or the wall of a building披屋,
  warp ( v.) :bend, curve,or twist out of shape;distort使翘
  strand ( n.) :any of the bundles of thread,fiber,wire,etc.that are twisted together to form a length of string,rope,or cable(线、绳等的)股
  barbed wire ( n.) : [Am.]strands of wire twisted together。with barbs at regular,close intervals, used for fencing or military barriers[美]带刺铁丝网
  patois ( n.) :[Fr,]a form of language,differing from the accepted standard,as a provincial or local dialect[法语]方言;土语
  obscenities ( n.) :[p1.]offensive,repulsive remarks or ideas[复]猥亵的话(或念头);猥亵的动作
  herring ( n.) :any of a family(Cluepidae)of bony fishes,including herring,shad,etc.鲱科鱼
  lard ( n.) :the fat of hogs,melted down and clarified to become white.soft solid(esp. the inner abdominal fat)猪油
  bruise ( n.) :injure the surface or the outside of so that there is spoilage,abrasion,denting,etc.擦伤(表皮,表面);碰伤(水果、植物等)
  brawl ( n.) :a rough,noisy quarrel or fight大吵大闹;大打出手v
  sporadic ( adj.) :not constant or regular零星的;时有时无的
  tuberculosis ( n.) :an infectious disease caused by the tubercle bacillus and characterized by the formation of tubercles in various tissues of the body;tuberculosis of the lungs:pulmonary phthisis;consumption结核(病);痨病,肺痨; 肺结核
  grimy ( adj.) : covered with or full of grime;very dirty积满圬垢的,肮脏的
  flare ( v.) :show sudden increased heat,anger or violence(up)(与up连用)突然激动;骤然发怒
  dickens inter ( j.) :[colloq.]devil;deuce(used with the in mild oaths)[口]见鬼,该死;倒霉,晦气(与定冠词the连用,表示轻微的诅咒)
  contagious ( adj.) :spread by direct or indirect contact(said of disease)(疾病)接触传染的
  nit ( n.) :the egg of a louse。r similar insect虱子或其他寄生虫的卵
  cameo ( n.) :a carving in relief on certain stratified gems or shells so that the raised design,often a head in profile, is usually in a different color from the background石雕;贝雕;凸雕
  mauve (adj.) :pale purple淡紫色的
  stifle ( v.) :suppress;repress;hold back;check抑制
  muse ( v.) :think deeply and at length沉思,冥想
  miraculously ( adv.) :1ike a miracle奇迹般地;不可思
  austere ( adj.) : very plain;lacking ornament or luxury简朴的,朴素的;无装饰的,不奢华的
  filigree ( n.) :a delicate,lacelike ornamental work of inter-wined wire of gold,silver,etc.金(银、铜)丝的细工饰品
  spruce ( n.) : any of a genus(Picea)of evergreen trees of pine family,having slender needles that are rhombic in cross section石杉属树
  fern ( n.) :any of widespread class(Filicineae)of nonflowering plants having roots,stems,and fronds,and reproducing by Spores instead of by seeds蕨纲植物
  raspberry ( n.) :the small,juicy,edible,aggregate fruit of various brambles(genus Rubus)of the rose family.Consisting of a cluster or red,purple,or black drupelets悬勾子属植
  miniature ( adj.) :on or done on a very small scale;diminutive;minute小型的,微型的;袖珍的
  squirrel ( n.) :any of a group of small,treedwelling rodents(family Sciurdae)with heavy fur and a long,bushy tail松鼠
  tame (adj.) : changed from a wild state,domesticated state.as animals trained for use by man or as pets(动物)养服了的,驯养的
  moose ( n.) :the large animal(Alces)of the deer family,native to the N.America美洲驼鹿
  antler ( n.) :the branched,deciduous horn of any animal of the deer family鹿角
  fissure ( v.) :break into parts;crack or split apart(使)分裂,(使)裂开
  meticulously (adv.) :extremely or excessively carefully about details,finically过分注意细节地;谨小慎微地;过细地
  tote ( v.) :[Am.colloq.]carry or haul,esp. in the arms or on the back[美口]手提;背负;携带;搬运
  scuff ( v.) :scrape(the ground,floor,etc.)with the feet以脚擦(地)
  bizarre (adj.) :odd in manner,appearance, etc.;grotesque;queer;fantastic;eccentric(举止、外表等)稀奇古怪的,奇形怪状的
  prophetess ( n.) :a female prophet女先知,女预言者
  impart ( v.) :make known;tell;reveal通知,公告,告诉;透露
  whippoorwill ( n. ) :a grayish,insect-eating goatsucker (Caprimulgus vociferus)of N.America,related to the nightjar and active at night北美夜鹰
  coyote ( n.) :a small wolf(Canis latrans)of the western prairies of N.America(产于北美西部大草原的)小狼,郊狼,丛林狼
  lore ( n.) :knowledge of learning;specifically,all the knowledge of a particular group or having to do with a particular subject,esp. that of a traditional nature学问;知识(尤指某门学科的知识)
  dogged ( adj.) :not giving in reality;persistent;stubborn不轻易让步的;顽强的;固执的,顽固的,执拗的
  bracken ( n.) :growth of large,coarse,weedy ferns欧洲蕨
  amber ( n.) :a brownish-yellow translucent color琥珀色,淡黄色
  ululate ( v.) :wail,lament嗥;嚎;吠
  aeon ( n.) :(=eon)an extremely long,indefinite period of time,thousands and thousands of years;a billion years极长的时期;永世,万古
  chipmunk ( n.) :any of a number of small N.American squirrels(genera Eutamias and Tamias)with striped markings on the head and back金花鼠(北美产的一种小松鼠),豹鼠
  birch ( n.) :any of a genus(Betula)of trees and shrubs of northern climates, having smooth bark easily peeled off in thin sheets,and hard,close-grained wood桦木
  immerse ( v.) : plunge into a specified state;absorb deeply:engross使专心,使全神贯注,使沉浸于;使陷人
  jukebox ( n.) :a coin-operated record player used in restaurants,bars,etc.(旅馆、酒吧间用的投币式)自动电唱机
  chrome ( n.) : chromium or chromium alloy,esp. as used for plating铬;铬合金
  astound ( v. ) :bewilder with sudden surprise:astonish greatly;amaze使震惊,使惊愕,使大吃一惊
  stolid ( adj.) :having or showing no emotion or sensibility; impassive不易激动的;感觉迟钝的
  carmine ( n.) :a red or purplish-red pigment obtained mainly from cochineal洋红;胭脂红
  frizzily ( adj.) :(=frizzly)full of or covered with small. tight curls满是卷结的;有卷发的,(头发)卷(曲)的
  perm ( v.) :[colloq.]give a permament wave to[口]烫(发)
  teeter ( v. ) :totter;wobble;waver步履不稳地走动
  jerkwater (adj.) :[colloq.]small and unimportant[口](微)小的,不重要的
  confide ( v.) :tell or talk about as a secret倾诉;告以(机密等);吐露(真情等)
  blur ( v.) :make or become dim or dull使(或变得)暗淡,模糊不清
  despise ( v.) :look down on with contempt and scorn轻视,藐视,蔑视,鄙视
  biddy ( n.) :[Am.slang]a woman,esp. an elderly woman regarded contemptuously as eccentric,gossipy,etc.[美俚]女人(尤指上年纪的、古怪的、爱闲聊的女人)
  fella ( n.) :[slang]a person;one;fellow[俚]人;家伙
  classy ( adj.) :[slang]first-class,esp. in style or manner;elegant;fine[俚](尤指风度、举止、仪表等)上等的,第一流的,极好的;雅致的,漂亮的,时髦的;优美的,典雅的
  perturb ( v.) :cause to be alarmed,agitated,or upset;disturb or trouble greatly使不安;烦扰
  gauche ( adj.) :[Fr.]lacking grace, esp. social grace;awkward;tactless[法语]不雅致的(尤指不善交际的、无社交手腕的);粗鲁的;笨拙的,不老练的
  slattern ( n.) : woman who is careless and sloppy in her habits。appearance,work,etc.邋遢女人;懒女人
  brew ( n.) :a beverage that has been brewed酿造液;(酿造、调制出的)饮料
  neon ( n.) :a rare,colorless,and inert gaseous,chemical element.found in small quantities in the earth's atmosphere and used in discharge tubes氖
  短语 (Expressions)
  get mixed up in sth.:   (infml)become involved in or connected with sth.和某事有牵连
  例: I don't want to get mixed up in your affairs.我可不想牵连到你们俩的事情中去。
  hit out(at sb./sth.):   attack sb./sth.vigorously or violently with words or blows猛烈地抨击或打击(某)/物)
  例: In a rousing speech the_President hit out against the trade u- nion.主席在一次言辞激烈的讲话中对工会进行了严厉的批评。
  flare up:   (of an illness)recur or show sudden burst of light.anger or violence突然激动、发怒等或(指疾病)复发
  例: He flares up at the slightest provocation.稍微一激他,他就大发脾气。 My back trouble has flared up again.我的后背又疼起来了。
  win hands down:   (infml)win easily,by a large margin轻易获胜
  例: The local team won hands down.主队以悬殊的比分获胜。
  set about:   start doing sth.(不用于被动语态)着手做某事
  例: I don't know how to set about this job.这工作我不知该如何人手。
  not giVe a shit(about sb./sth.):   not care at all毫不关心
  例: He doesn't give a shit about anybody else.他对别人漠不关心。


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