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VOA慢速英语2018--'A Princess of Mars,' by Edgar Rice Burroughs, Part One

时间:2018-01-13 21:39来源:互联网 提供网友:nan   字体: [ ]


Today, we begin a series from a book by American writer Edgar Rice Burroughs. The book is called “A Princess of Mars1.” It is the first book in a series that Burroughs wrote about a man who travels to Mars during the last years of the 1800s. There, the man meets strange beings and sees strange sights. At first he is a captive2, then a warrior3, and after many battles, a prince of a royal family. The voice of John Carter was Shep O’Neal. Paul Thompson produced the program. Adam Brock and Dr. Jill Robbins developed the video and supplemental4 materials.

JOHN CARTER: I am a very old man. How old I do not know. It is possible I am a hundred, maybe more. I cannot tell because I have never aged5 as other men do.

So far as I can remember, I have always been a man of about 30. I appear today as I did 40 years ago. Yet, I feel that I cannot go on living forever. Someday I will die the real death from which there is no escape. I do not know why I should fear death. I who have died two times and am still alive.

I have never told this story. I know the human mind will not believe what it cannot understand. I cannot explain what happened to me. I can only tell of the ten years my dead body lay undiscovered in an Arizona cave.

My name is John Carter. I am from the state of Virginia. At the close of the Civil War I found myself without a home, without money and without work.

I decided6 the best plan was to search for gold in the great deserts of the American Southwest.

I spent almost a year searching for gold with another former soldier, Captain James Powell, also of Virginia. We were extremely lucky. In the winter of eighteen sixty-five we found rocks that held gold.

Powell was trained as a mining engineer. He said we had uncovered7 over $1 million dollars worth of gold in only three months. But the work was slow with only two men and not much equipment. So we decided Powell should go to the nearest settlement to seek equipment and men to help us with the work. On March 3, 1866, Powell said good-bye. He rode his horse down the mountain toward8 the valley. I followed his progress for several hours.

The morning Powell left was like all mornings in the deserts of the great Southwest -- clear and beautiful.

Not much later I looked across the valley. I was surprised to see three riders in the same place where I had last seen my friend. After watching for some time, I decided the three riders must be hostile9 Indians.

Powell, I knew, was well armed and an experienced10 soldier. But I knew he would need my aid. I found my weapons, placed a saddle11 on my horse and started as fast as possible down the trail taken by Powell.

I followed as quickly as I could until dark. About 9 o’clock the moon became very bright. I had no difficulty following Powell’s trail. I soon found the trail left by the three riders following Powell. I knew they were Indians. I was sure they wanted to capture12 Powell.

Suddenly I heard shots far ahead of me. I hurried ahead as fast as I could. Soon I came to a small camp. Several hundred Apache Indians were in the center of the camp. I could see Powell on the ground. I did not even think about what to do, I just acted. I pulled out my guns and began shooting.

The Apaches were surprised and fled. I forced my horse into the camp and toward Powell. I reached down and pulled him up on the horse by his belt. I urged the horse to greater speed. The Apaches by now realized that I was alone and quickly began to follow. We were soon in very rough country.

The trail I chose began to rise sharply13. It went up and up. I followed the trail for several hundred meters more until I came to the mouth of a large cave.

It was almost morning now. I got off my horse and laid Powell on the ground. I tried to give him water. But it was no use. Powell was dead. I laid his body down and continued to the cave.

I began to explore the cave. I was looking for a safe place to defend myself, or perhaps for a way out. But I became very sleepy. It was a pleasant feeling. My body became extremely heavy. I had trouble moving. Soon I had to lay down against the side of the cave. For some reason I could not move my arms or legs.

I lay facing the opening of the cave. I could see part of the trail that had led me here. And now I could see the Apaches. They had found me. But I could do nothing.

Within a minute one of them came into the cave. He looked at me, but he came no closer. His eyes grew wide. His mouth opened. He had a look of terror14 on his face. He looked behind me for moment and then fled.

Suddenly I heard a low noise behind me.

So could the rest of the Apaches. They all turned and fled. The sound became louder. But still I could not move. I could not turn my head to see what was behind me. All day I lay like this. I tried again to rise, and again, but still I could not move. Then I heard a sharp sound. It was like a steel wire breaking. I quickly stood up. My back was against the cave wall.

I looked down. There before me lay my body.

For a few moments, I stood looking at my body. I could not bring myself to touch it. I was very frightened. The sounds of the cave and the sight of my body forced me away. I slowly backed to the opening of the cave.

I turned to look at the Arizona night. I could see a thousand stars. As I stood there I turned my eyes to a large red star. I could not stop looking at it. It was Mars … the red planet15 … the red god of war. It seemed to pull me near.

Then, for a moment, I closed my eyes. There was an instant of extreme cold and total darkness. Suddenly I was in deep, dreamless, peaceful sleep.

I opened my eyes upon a very strange land. I immediately knew then I was on Mars. Not once did I question this fact. My mind told me I was on Mars as your mind tells you that you are upon Earth. You do not question the fact, nor did I.

I found myself lying on a bed of yellow colored grass that covered the land for kilometers. The time was near the middle of the day and the sun was shining full upon me. It was warm.

I decided to do a little exploring. Springing to my feet, I received my first Martian surprise. The effort to stand carried me into the Martian air to the height of about one meter. I landed softly16 upon the ground, however, without incident.

I found that I must learn to walk all over again. My muscles were used to the gravity of Earth. Mars has less gravity. My attempts to walk resulted in jumps and hops17, which took me into the air. I once landed on my face. I soon learned18 that it took much less effort for me to move on Mars than it did on Earth.

Near me was a small, low wall. Carefully, I made my way to the wall and looked over. It was filled with eggs, some already broken open. Small, green creatures were in them. They looked at me with huge red eyes.

As I watched the fierce-looking creatures, I failed to hear twenty full-grown Martians coming from behind me. They had come without warning. As I turned, I saw them. One was coming at me with a huge spear, with its sharp tip pointed19 at my heart!

Words in This Story

trail - n. a path through a forest, field, etc.

Apache - n. a member of a Native American people of the southwestern U.S.

flee - v. to run away from danger (Irregular past tense: fled)

gravity - n. the natural force that tends to cause physical things to move towards each other : the force that causes things to fall towards the Earth

Martian - n. an imaginary20 creature in books, movies, etc., that lives on or comes from the planet Mars


1 Mars 4oSz63     
  • As of now we don't know much about Mars.目前我们对火星还知之甚少。
  • He contended that there must be life on Mars.他坚信火星上面一定有生物。
2 captive Frjzw     
  • They led him captive.他们将他活捉。
  • The rock star had a captive audience.那位摇滚歌星倾倒了许多观众。
3 warrior YgPww     
  • The young man is a bold warrior.这个年轻人是个很英勇的武士。
  • A true warrior values glory and honor above life.一个真正的勇士珍视荣誉胜过生命。
4 supplemental e7af23a43812af228def6b7a295547a8     
  • There can be any number of supplemental personas associated with an interface. 一个界面的补充人物角色可以有任意多个。 来自About Face 3交互设计精髓
  • User personas that are not primary or secondary are supplemental personas. 既不是首要人物角色,也不是次要人物角色的用户人物角色都是补充人物角色。 来自About Face 3交互设计精髓
5 aged 6zWzdI     
  • He had put on weight and aged a little.他胖了,也老点了。
  • He is aged,but his memory is still good.他已年老,然而记忆力还好。
6 decided lvqzZd     
  • This gave them a decided advantage over their opponents.这使他们比对手具有明显的优势。
  • There is a decided difference between British and Chinese way of greeting.英国人和中国人打招呼的方式有很明显的区别。
7 uncovered 5fszak     
adj.无盖的,未保险的v.揭开…的盖子( uncover的过去式和过去分词 );揭露,发现
  • His head was uncovered. 他光着头。
  • A plot to assassinate the banker has been uncovered by the police. 暗杀银行家的密谋被警方侦破了。 来自《简明英汉词典》
8 toward on6we     
  • Suddenly I saw a tall figure approaching toward the policeman.突然间我看到一个高大的身影朝警察靠近。
  • Upon seeing her,I smiled and ran toward her. 看到她我笑了,并跑了过去。
9 hostile QdVzP     
  • The local people are hostile to outsiders.当地人敌视外地人。
  • Their hostile looks showed that he was unwelcome.他们怀敌意的表情说明他不受欢迎。
10 experienced ntPz2t     
  • Experienced seamen will advise you about sailing in this weather.有经验的海员会告诉你在这种天气下的航行情况。
  • Perhaps you and I had better change over;you are more experienced.也许我们的工作还是对换一下好,你比我更有经验。
11 saddle 9C9z5     
  • The bicycle saddle is too high for this child.这辆自行车车座对这孩子来说太高了。
  • We got the order to saddle up just after dawn.我们得到命令,天一亮就要上好马鞍。
12 capture xTny1     
  • The company is out to capture the European market.这家公司希望占据欧洲市场。
  • With the capture of the escaped tiger,everyone felt relieved.逃出来的老虎被捕获后,大家都松了一口气。
13 sharply UiRziL     
  • The plane dived sharply and rose again.飞机猛然俯冲而后又拉了起来。
  • Demand for personal computers has risen sharply.对个人电脑的需求急剧增长。
14 terror dI9z3     
  • We were in mortal terror of being found out. 我们非常害怕被发现。
  • That guy is a proper terror. 那家伙真是讨厌。
15 planet A26z1     
  • Neptune is the furthest planet from the sun. 海王星是离太阳最远的行星。
  • Rubbish, however, is only part of the problem of polluting our planet. 然而, 垃圾只是我们这个星球的污染问题的一个方面。
16 softly HiIzR4     
  • He speaks too softly for her to hear.他讲话声音太轻,她听不见。
  • She breathed her advice softly.她低声劝告。
17 hops a6b9236bf6c7a3dfafdbc0709208acc0     
跳上[下]( hop的第三人称单数 ); 单足蹦跳; 齐足(或双足)跳行; 摘葎草花
  • The sparrow crossed the lawn in a series of hops. 那麻雀一蹦一跳地穿过草坪。
  • It is brewed from malt and hops. 它用麦精和蛇麻草酿成。
18 learned m1oxn     
  • He went into a rage when he learned about it.他听到这事后勃然大怒。
  • In this little village,he passed for a learned man.在这个小村子里,他被视为有学问的人。
19 pointed Il8zB4     
  • He gave me a very sharp pointed pencil.他给我一支削得非常尖的铅笔。
  • She wished to show Mrs.John Dashwood by this pointed invitation to her brother.她想通过对达茨伍德夫人提出直截了当的邀请向她的哥哥表示出来。
20 imaginary Aazxr     
  • All the characters in this book are imaginary.此书中的所有人物都是虚构的。
  • The boy's fears were only imaginary.这小孩的恐惧只是一种想象。
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