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AMERICAN STORIES - Here It Comes, There It Goes

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编注:由于版权原因,VOA没有发布这篇故事的文稿,以下内容为网友听写整理,可能存在错误。

Now, the weekly Special English Program AMERICAN STORIES.

Our story today is called "Here It Comes, There It Goes." It was written by Margaret Haggard. Here is Shep O' Neil with our story.

I never thought that my clock, my beautiful old clock would make the town laugh at me, but it did.

One day, two strangers came in and sat down. "Welcome to my hotel." I said, and told them what they could have to eat. While they ate, I happily thought about what they owed me, it was a lot of money. They were just finishing their coffee when they began to argue.

"I tell you Farence, it can not be done." the younger man said. The other one hit the table until my dishes rattled, "Anyone can do it." he shouted, "Even this hotel owner could do it." Since they were talking about me, I went over to their table. "Could do what, gentleman?" I asked. The younger one did not look at me. "I will bet fifty dollars he can not do it." he said in a quiet voice. "Cannot do what, gentleman?" I asked again. The older man smiled at me."Why?" he said, "My friend and I were looking at your fine clock over there." "Oh, a fine clock, a very old one." I said. "My father brought it to this country."

Here It Comes, There It Goes.
Here It Comes, There It Goes.

"We were looking at the slow steady swing of pendulum as it counts the seconds." the young one said, "And my friend said it would be easy to stand in front of the clock for one hour. To stand without moving and say 'Here it comes, there it goes.' as the clock's pendulum swings back and fore." That would be easy, I laughed. Why? I have stood and watched my clock for longer than an hour. "Would you like to bet on that?", the young man said, looking at me seriously. "I will pay you fifty dollars if you can do it, you pay me if you can not."

"Fifty dollars?" I asked, it seemed a lot of money for such an easy trick. "Yes." he answered. Then he looked around the empty restaurant and said "If it is too much, we will bet only twenty five dollars." That did something to me, so they thought I was too poor to bet fifty dollars. "I will bet one hundred dollars." I cried, I wished I had beaten my tongue the minute the words were out, it was all the money I had. Without another word, he brought out one hundred dollars and gave them to his friend, "Here, Farence." he said, "You hold the money for us." I gave Farence my money too. he did not count it, but put it with the other money. "He trusts me." I thought, "A true gentleman."

I decided to give them the dinner free if I won the bet. "These are the rules." the old man said, put his gold watch on the table. "You must stand there looking at the clock for one hour. Every time the pendulum swings, you say 'Here it comes, there it goes,' do you understand?" "Yes." I answered smiling. I felt that the money was already in my pocket. "I agree to that too" the young one said, nodding his head. "Very good." I said, and went over to the clock.

It hung on the wall above a shelf filled with my best dishes. I stood there with my back toward the men. "Begin now." ordered the older one. "Here it comes, there it goes. Here it comes, there it goes..." I started to say in a loud clear voice. While I spoke these words, I thought about many things. "First, I thank to God for my fine old clock, this old clock might help me get money for my son's education, then I could buy a new coat for my wife Sarah. Perhaps, I could even buy a walking stick for myself. Yes the hundred dollars would go quickly. And so the minutes past."

Seven, sixteen, twenty-eight, then I heard someone come in and close the door. I recognized the voice of my old friend Laizar, "Michaelson." he cried, "What's wrong? Why are you standing there talking to a clock? Have you lost your mind?" The two strangers said nothing. This made me angry. I decided I would make them pay for their dinner. Laizar began to pray. "Dear God help this poor man, look Michaelson." he said gently, "I will get your coat and take you outside for a walk, fresh air might help you." I kept saying "Here it comes, there it goes".

"Michaelson." he said, his voice sick with emotion. "Let me take you home to your wife Sarah" I heard Laizar come near me, I was afraid he would pull me outside, then I would lose the hundred dollars. I got so worried, I took a dish and threw it over my shoulder at him, it missed. "He is getting violent." Laizar said. "Michaelson, listen to me, you can stand there and say anything you like, just stay there one minute longer, do not move, I will be right back, one minute!" He rushed outside.

"Here it comes, there it goes." I continued in my angriest voice. I wanted those strangers to know how I thought about them. They should have explained the bet to Laizar. They surely did not act like gentlemen

"The minutes went by slowly, oh so slowly!" Then the door opened again. "Hey, Michaelson", someone yelled, after the next words I knew it was Naufmann, the tailor. "What are you doing?" Naufmann is a fine tailor but a very stupid man. When I did not answer, he ran out the hotel. In less than three minutes he was back again with a crowed of people. They all talked at same time. "He is sick in the mind" one said. "It's true." said another, "But what can we do?", "We must take him to a hospital." shouted others. Then I was really angry. Forty seven minutes of my hour gone, and these fools might try to stop me. I took two more dishes and threw them over my head, this time I did not miss.

"How could I in such a crowded place?" Then, suddenly, everything was quiet. I could hear someone softly walking toward me. I waited until I thought he was close enough, then I kick out behind me. Poor Naufmann, he yelled in pain. "Get a rope!" he shouted, "A rope, we must tie his arms and feet." Two of them ran off to find one. I prayed they would not return until the hour was gone. After a minute, I heard the door opened and shouted again. "Let him alone all of you", it was my old friend Laizar, his voice shaking with worry.

"Here it comes, there it goes", I kept saying for the two strangers, "It must be a weakness in the brain", I heard grandpa Sadecer say "His aunt Viola died the same way, she counted feathers, feathers for her wedding day." "Here it comes, there it goes" I said, thinking that grandpa was a foolish old man. Nobody spoke, it was so quiet, the sound of the clock seemed loud. Fifty eight minutes gone, only two minutes and one hundred dollars would be mine. My voice was getting weak and my mouth was dry. Then, again, I heard the door open, and a crying of a woman filled my ears, it was my wife Sarah. "Oh, please, please!" I prayed, "do not let her come near me, I could not throw anything at my wife, not even one small dish." Ten seconds, three, two, one.

I quickly turned around, "I won! I won!" I shouted, "Give me the hundred dollars." nobody moved, they all looked at me, "My one hundred dollars." I yelled, "And the two strangers, where are they? What have you done with them? They were sitting right over there at that table." I told the story many times before they believed me. And when they did, the sound of their laughter could be heard in the next town. So that's why they called me "Here It Comes, There It Goes Michaelson," and that's why anyone who comes into my hotel always asks "Can you tell me what time it is?" and goes away laughing hard.

You have heard the American Stories "Here It Comes, There It Goes." written by Margaret Haggard. Your storyteller was Shep O' Neil, the producer was Lawan Davis. The story was published by Random House in Best College Writing of 1961. This story is copyrighted, all rights reserved.

Listen again next week at the same time for another American Story told in Special English on the Voice Of America. This is Shirley Griffith.

网友的学习评论(11条):
作者:Andy Lu
The story is very funny
作者:Ruby Ning
so stupid
作者:依然single
Greed is a bad human root
作者:May
Hold you own wallet tightly. Don not put your eyes on others' pocket.
作者:Crazy-Lucky
A funny story! When you think you can profit at other people's expense, you are to be deceived and suffer losses. Never be greedy!
作者:BETTERZHONG
pretty good
作者:joy
A stupid man and lots of stupid people!In order 100 dollars to be a fool,I cannot stand Michaelson!
作者:tomorrowcj
The poor man was cheated.
作者:冰雪无痕
so stupid man he is。
What a funny story! And how silly the man is.
作者:fofo
cheats are all where around us, be careful. many of them take advantage of the greedy nature of human beings. what a shame!
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