Slow and Steady Wins the Race!
UNSV英语学习频道 - Slow and steady wins the race!
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Millionaire Harvey Gatewood had a desk as big as a bed in the middle of his office. He looked almost as big as his desk. Gatewood had become rich by knocking down anyone who stood in his way. Now he leaned across his desk and began shouting at me, "My daughter was kidnapped last night. I want you to find her and the people who did this." "Tell me about it," I suggested. Gatewood said his daughter Audrey had gone out for a walk the night before at 7 o'clock. She never came home. The next morning Gatewood received a letter from her kidnappers. They asked 50,000 dollars for her and put one of her favorite rings in the envelope to prove they had her.

Gatewood had called the police immediately. But a few minutes later he decided to hire his own private detectives. That's when he called me at my Continental Detective Agency. "Find her!" he barked at me.

I left his office and went to his home. The servants told me Audrey was 19 years old and Gatewood's only child. They said her mother was dead and Audrey and her father did not like each other. I went to her room where I found a picture of her. She was a pretty girl with big blue eyes and a small pointed chin. I took the photograph with me when I went back to my office. I decided to call the police detectives O and T who were working on the case. They said that I could take a look at the letter the kidnappers had sent. The envelope had been mailed from San Francisco on Sep. 20th. The same night Audrey had disappeared. The postmark on the envelope was stamped 8pm.

While I was at the police station, a young policeman stuck his head into the room. "Gatewood just called," he said, "he wants all of you in his office right away." I ran out with O and T and jumped into one of their police cars. Gatewood was walking up and down in his office. His face was red with anger. "She just phoned me," he shouted as soon as he saw us. "She said 'Oh daddy, Do something. I can't stand this. They are killing me.' Then I heard a man's voice yell something and someone hung up the phone." Gatewood began banging his desk with his huge hands. "Have you people done anything?" We had to admit that we had discovered nothing yet.

That night I went home with Gatewood. At 2:30 in the morning, the telephone rang. I listened on the telephone downstairs while Gatewood talked on the telephone by his bed upstairs. A man's voice said, Gatewood, put the money in a bag and leave the house with it immediately, walk down K Street to the river, you'll meet someone with a handkerchief over his face. Drop the money and go back home. You'll get your daughter back in an hour or two. The stranger hung up the telephone.

"Do what he told you to do," I said to Gatewood, "and don't try any tricks." A few minutes later, Gatewood left his house carrying a white bag of money in his left hand. I followed him as he walked down the dark streets for about ten minutes. No one was around. Suddenly out of nowhere, a tall woman appeared. She was wearing black clothes and holding a handkerchief to her face. Gatewood stopped. He dropped the bag of money, turned around and walked quickly away. The woman ran to the bag, picked it up and disappeared down a dark side street.

The side street was empty when I reached it. I looked for an open window or door that would show me which building the woman had run into. Nothing. All the doors and windows were locked. I picked one door and broke the lock, I was lucky. Inside I found a woman's skirt, coat and hat, all black on the floor near the door. I knocked on a few doors in the building and one of the people told me that a tall man named Lytton had rented an apartment there only three days earlier. Lytton was not home when I knocked on his door. But now I understood how the mysterious woman had disappeared.

Lytton had put on women's clothing over his own. Then he had gone out the backdoor of the apartment building, leaving the door open. After getting the money, he ran back into the building, locked the door and took off his disguise. Then he must have left the apartment building through the front door. The next morning there was no word from Audrey. We still had heard nothing by afternoon.

I began to wonder about some things. I checked with Audrey's girlfriends, and found that one of them was the last person to see Audrey before the kidnapping. Agnes Danger Field told me she saw Audrey walking down Market Street alone the night of the kidnapping between 8:15 and 8:45. I took a taxi to the shopping district where there were a lot of large department stores. I went into each one asking if a tall man had bought clothing that would fit Audrey. At the fifth department store, I got good news. A tall man had come in the day before, buying clothing in Audrey's size. He had bought a lot of clothing and arranged for it to be delivered to his apartment on 14th street. He signed his name Theodore Alfred.

When I arrived at the address he gave, I saw a fat lady leaving the building. I told her I was a private detective and asked her about Alfred. She said he and his wife had rented apartment 202 only a week ago. She stopped talking suddenly as a tall man walked past me into the building. She said he was Mr Alfred. But I recognized him as Penny Quail, an unimportant little thief. I knew he recognized me too. I followed him into the building and ran up the stairs to apartment 202. I rang the doorbell three gunshots answered and the middle of the door had three bullet holes in it. Those bullets would have been in my stomach if I hadn't learned year ago to stand to one side of strange doors. I kicked at the door and the lock broke. As I ran into the room I saw Quail and a woman struggling on the floor. The woman was Audrey Gatewood. She had a gun in her hand. I grabbed it and yelled, "That's enough! Get up, both of you." Quail sat down in a chair trying to catch his breath. But the woman stood in the center of the room.

"You are just lucky I didn't shoot you," She said angrily, "How did you discover the truth?" "In several ways", I answered. "First one of your friends said she saw you on Market Street between 8:15 and 8:45 the night you disappeared. But the postmark on the letter to your father read 8 pm. Quail here should have waited longer before mailing the letter. When you didn't come home after the money was paid. I had an idea, you kidnapped yourself. Then I thought you would need to buy clothing. You left home that night just to take a walk. You couldn't bring a suitcase full of clothing with you. I knew you had a man helping you. I thought perhaps the man would buy what you needed, and it turned out that he did. But he was too lazy to carry the packages from the store himself. So he had the store send the clothing to this place. That's how I knew where to find you.

Gatewood met his daughter at the police station. I had never seen him so angry when he learned the truth. Gatewood told the police to lock up his daughter. But Audrey threatened to tell some of his business secrets to the newspapers. Gatewood must have believed she really would do it too. Because he told the police he had changed his mind. And the father and daughter left for home. I could see the hate they had for each other. Not a very happy reunion.

The police were still holding Quail. But he wasn't worried. He knew if Audrey was free. He would not be punished either. I was glad it was over. It had been a rough job and a strange adventure. The Gatewood Caper.

You have just heard the story called "The Gatewood Caper". It was written by Dashiell Hammett and adapted for Special English by D. It was published by M book company in 1965 in "The Realm of Fiction", 74 short stories. Your story teller was Harry Monroe. The Voice of America invites you to listen again next week at the same time to another American story. This is Shirley Griffith.


最佳回复 该帖于2009年10月17日被版主推荐为精华帖。

1楼 作者:walt 创建: <编辑>  <引用>
2楼 作者:Joe 创建: <编辑>  <引用>
3楼 作者:huangxi 创建: <编辑>  <引用>
very good.
  第4楼 作者:Martin Cool 创建: <编辑>  <引用>

Thank you very much!!

  第5楼 作者:walt 创建: <编辑>  <引用>

THE GATEWOOD CAPER 是 2005年8月6日 的美国故事。

上周的 the white circle 是 2004年12月11日 的美国故事。



Our story today is called "The White Circle". It was written by John Bell Coliton. Here is Shep O'Neal to tell you the story.

As soon as I saw Anvol sitting in the apple tree, I knew we would fight. I also knew he would win. But winning or losing was not important, at least not so important as getting him down from the tree.

The tree was mine. It was a young tree. And it had 13 beautiful apples on it. Now my beautiful apples were under Anvol`s shirt. The tree became mine the day I was 12 years old. Father called me to come to the barn to see the new young horses. When I got there, father lit a cigarette and placed one foot on the fence. He looked pleased and proud.

"Toker", he finally said, "This is a big day. There, before you, are five of the finest horses in our Virginia. Now I would give you a gift for your birthday. Could you make a choice? "

"Yes, " I said.

"Which one?" he asked.

"I would like to have an apple tree across the road. "

Father looked at me for a long time. You would have to know how much he loved horses to understand the look on his face. But I was 12 years old. How could I explain my choice? It was something about the apple tree. The color of the red apples as they hung among the green leaves. But it was more than this. It had something to do with being proud. I can give one of the apples to my friend Jenny. "Jenny, " I would say, "I want to give you this apple. It came from my tree. The tree grows on my father's land. " Before my father had the land, it belonged to his father. And before that, to his father. Now I owned the tree. Because of this, I am a tie to all my people of long ago way back to Moses and all of bible people.

Father finally answered, "Now, right, son. If you want a tree more than a horse, the tree is yours. " I thanked him for the tree and he left.

I picked up a stone and ran across the fields to protect my tree. "All right, Anvol. Climb down. "

Anvol looked at me as if I wasn't there. "Yah. . . " he said, "You lead on nothing. Throw that stone at me and see what happens. "

"Anvol, " I said again, "come down. They are my apples. "

Anvol stopped eating and smiled at me with evil in his heart.

"You want an apple? I'll give you one. "

And he threw one with all his strength and hit me in the head. I threw the stone at him, but missed and hit the tree. Anvol's face turned red.

"Boy, you are going to get a hit. "

I began to pull his feet. Down he came along with parts of the tree and young fresh leaves. He hit me as he fell. We both hit the ground. He jumped on top of me, and placed his knees on my arms. I could not move.

"Stop kicking, " he said. And then calmly looked at the sky, and began to eat another one of my beautiful apples.

"You, smelly cow, " I said to him, "I wish you were never born. I'm gonna tell my father. " I said.

"Father, " Anvol said, trying to make his voice sound like mine, "Father, say, oh, man. You think your old man is very important, don't you? You think your old man is a king, don't you? Say, oh, man, go to hell. Say, oh, man, oh man, I wish you were dead. " He let me get up and stood over me.

"Stop crying. " he said.

"I am not crying. " I was lying on the ground with murder in my heart. There were times when I did not hate Anvol. I remembered the day his father came to school. He told the teacher he was going to hit Anvol to make him a good boy. His father was a bitter cruel man. He had a big stick. Anvol saw the stick, and hid under a table. He lay there, frightened until the teacher made his father go away. I had no hate for Anvol that day. But another day, Anvol acted cruel like his father. He entered the school when everyone had gone and threw things all over the floor. Sometimes he was more cruel and hit little boys and made them cry.

One day he came to me as I was sitting under a tree. "They all hate me, " he said, "They hate me because my father is cruel. "They don't hate you. " I said, "at least I don't. " That was true then, I did not hate him. I asked him to come home to eat with me. He did and threw stones at me all the way home. But today was different. He was stealing my apples. I had no soft feelings for him. He stood over me and kept telling me not to cry.

"I'm not crying. "

"All right, you not. But you are still angry. "

"No, I'm not. There was a little. But I'm not anymore. "

"Well, why do you look so funny around your eyes?"

"I don't know. "

"Let's go to the barn to play. "

"Play what? "

Anvol looked at me with surprise. He did not know if he should be a friend or enemy.

"We play anything. " I said. "Come on, I'll race you to the barn. "

We got to the barn. And the first thing Anvol saw was a white circle that my father had painted on the floor.

"What is that for? "

"Nothing, " I answered. I was not ready to use my plan yet.

We jumped from the hay to the floor a few times. Later, I felt ready. "That's no fun. " I said, "Let's play prisoner circle. "

"Oh, what's that? " Anvol asked as if he was too big to play foolish games. I was getting excited. I did not trust myself to look at the circle on the floor. Anvol might learn my plan if I did. Nor did I look up at the top of the barn just above the circle. I knew what was there. It was a big steel fork to pick up hay grass and placed on the truck. It had two long sharp points. A man had come to the barn to build it, for days he worked until he placed the fork up high out of the way. The fork could be led down by a rope and was tied to a pole. I remembered the first day it was tested. My father called all the workers from the field to watch. I did not remember the details, but something went wrong. The fork fell and buried itself in the back of one of the horses. Father said little. He simply painted a white circle on the barn floor where the fork fell. He pulled the big steel fork back up to the top and tied the rope up high where no one could reach it. Then he said quietly with a white face, "I do not want anyone to step inside the white circle or to touch the rope that holds the fork, never. "

"I do not want to play a foolish game. " said Anvol.

"All right, " I said, "but play just one game of prisoner circle with me first. Get in the Circle, shut your eyes and begin to count. "

"Oh all right. " Anvol agreed weakly. "One, two, three. . . "

"Get right in the middle of the circle. " I told him, "and count slowly so I can hide. " Anvol counted slower, "Four. . . five. . . six. "

I looked at him once again. Then climbed up to the floor above where the rope was tied. I pulled on the rope with all my power. The fork dropped with a whizzing sound. Anvol must felt something was wrong because he jumped out of the way in time. The heavy fork buried its sharp points deep in the barn floor. For a moment, Anvol stood very still. He turned around and saw the shining steel fork. His face turned a light green color. The muscles in his legs moved up and down. After a few quiet moments of surprised wonder, he reached into a shirt and pulled out my apples one by one. He dropped them on the barn floor.

"You can have your smelly old apples. " he said, "You tried to kill me for a few smelly apples. Your old man owns everything around here. I haven't got a thing of my own. Go ahead and keep your old apples. " He got to his feet, and slowly walked out of the barn door. I had not moved or said one word. A moment later, I ran and picked the apples from the floor.

"Anvol, Anvol"

He continued to walk and crossed the field. I shouted louder, "Anvol, wait. You can have the apples. " Anvol climbed the fence and did not looked back. He walked toward the store down the road.

Three birds flew out of the barn door, squeaking and squawking. Now only the great steel fork was left. There was a lone shining accusing me in the silence and emptiness of the barn.


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