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    Some years ago, a good family moved into the third floor apartment of the tenement where we lived in the Bronx. David was the son and he was going to medical school. He was also an 1)avid reader so he spent most of his free time in the library. The librarian there was a pretty, soft-spoken young woman named Lilly. The kids all loved her. If we couldn’t find a book she would stop whatever she was doing, smile at us warmly and launch a search to find it for us. She was a hard worker.

    She also secretly admired our new neighbor David. Whenever he entered the small neighborhood library, Lilly’s eyes lit up and observed his wandering path through the 2)stacks of books. She never 3)struck up a conversation with him though. She was much too shy, and in those days a woman didn't talk to a stranger without a formal introduction. One evening, as Lilly was closing up the library, her assistant bent down near the desk to 4)retrieve an unopened envelope off the floor. She showed it to Lilly and they noted that it was sent from a major city hospital.

     “It looked so important,” the assistant said. “Some poor person is probably looking for it 5)frantically. It must have fallen out of his pocket or book.” Lilly glanced at the address of the 6)recipient and was surprised to see it was for the building right next to hers. She took the letter so she could 7)drop it by the man’s apartment on her way home. She 8)turned out the lights, finished locking the library and hurried home, where she quickly 9)set down her bags. 10)Clutching the envelope, she 11)ran across the way, entered the front 12)lobby next store and scanned the mailboxes. She found a Gordon, the same last name listed on the envelope. Lilly walked up the three flights of stairs and was greeted at the door by a sweet older woman who was leaning on a crutch.

     “Oh, thank you so much, she said. “Well, here’s the letter. Is David Gordon your husband” “Oh no,” she answered. “That’s my son. We were wondering where the letter went. ” She looked Lilly up and down. “Well, look at us, standing here like strangers, ” the woman said smiling brightly. “Come and sit for a moment and have some tea. Please. ” As she 13)motioned Lilly to a chair, the lady talked about the letter. “When I get mail for my son, I always put it on the kitchen table so he can find it when he comes home. This letter was important so I stuck it in his book. You see, he is going to medical school to be a 14)specialist, ” she said proudly. Just then, the door opened and in walked her son, David.

     Upon seeing that he was the young man she had admired so long, Lilly felt her heart beat faster. His mother excitedly explained to him what had happened to the letter. David looked at Lilly in astonishment. “Gosh, you’re from the library? Thank you. I was looking high and low for that letter. ” He turned to his mother. “You see, I was accepted to the hospital’s medical program. ” Then he turned back to Lilly and smiled shyly, “Thanks again, Miss Uhhh... I didn’t get your name?”

     “Lilly, ” she said, smiling her warmest smile. And so began Lilly and David’s life together.

     But now for the whole story. After they had been married 25 years, he told us the truth about the letter. David was a 15)cardiovascular specialist by then and his dear Lilly, the mother of their three children was sitting by his side as he told us. You see, David wasn’t that avid a reader as it turns out. He just wanted to see that pretty young librarian. He told his mother about the girl at his local library, but he was shy and didn’t know how to approach her. His mother 16)devised a 17)scheme.

     Every time David went to the library, he was to drop an envelope addressed to himself on the floor. David’s mother hoped Lilly would retrieve it for him, call him over to the desk and give him a chance to strike up a conversation. So David 18)dutifully dropped a letter each time he visited the library, but each time someone would see the envelope 19)fluttering to the floor and rush to 20)reclaim it for him.

     “Oh sir,” he’d hear someone cry out. But when he turned, it was never Lilly. On the day he finally met Lilly, David waited till no one was left in the building but Lilly and her assistant. Once again he dropped his letter by the desk. The next day he hoped he could come back and ask Lilly if she had found an envelope with his name on it. The plan worked far better than he imagined when Lilly showed up in person to deliver the letter. While David was telling the story, his beautiful wife Lilly began laughing 21)hysterically.

     “David,” she said, when she caught her breath. “You didn’t seal that envelope very well. We opened it at the library. I saw that there was nothing but a blank piece of paper inside. But I was dying to 22)figure out what you 23)were up to so I 24)played along. David, you are a terrible actor.” She turned her 25)twinkling eyes to her husband’s. “But Oh, David, I loved you so.”CE

 

04、大卫和莉莉的爱情故事

 

多年前,我们住在布朗克斯时,三楼搬来一家新租户。大卫是那家人的儿子,即将入读医科学院。他还非常热衷于阅读,大部分空余时间都消耗在图书馆里。图书管理员叫莉莉,她是个说话柔声细语的漂亮姑娘。孩子们都很喜欢她。如果我们找不到书,她总会停下手上的活,亲切地微笑着为我们找书。她工作相当勤恳。

她还暗恋着我们的新邻居大卫。只要他走进这间小街区图书馆,莉莉的眼睛就奕奕闪亮,注视着他在书架间走动。可她从没和他说上话。她太害羞了,再说那个年代里女孩子没经正式介绍是不会与陌生人交谈的。一天晚上,正当莉莉要闭馆的时候,她的助理从桌旁的地面上拾起一个未开启的信封。她递给莉莉瞧,两人注意到信是从一家大城市医院发出的。

“信似乎很重要,”助理说,“或许别人正找它找得火急火燎呢。一定是从口袋里或书里掉出来的。”莉莉看了一眼收信人的地址,惊讶地发现就是她住的隔壁楼。她拿了信,打算回家的时候顺便带给那家人。她关了灯,锁好图书馆的门,急忙回家放下袋子。然后她拿着信穿过马路,一路跑到旁边大楼的前厅,打量着信箱。她找到了戈登的名字,和信封上写的姓名一样。莉莉走上三楼,一位和蔼可亲的老太太支着根拐杖在门口迎接了她。

“哦,太感谢你了,”老太太说。“信在这儿。大卫·戈登是你的先生吗?”“噢,不是,”她回答说,“那是我的儿子。我们还在奇怪信上哪儿去了呢。”她上下打量着莉莉,灿烂地笑着说道:“瞧我们,站在这儿像陌生人似的,进来坐一会儿喝喝茶吧。请进。”老太太边让莉莉坐下,边谈起了那封信。“我收到给儿子的信后,总是放在厨房的桌上,好让他一回家就能看到。但这封信太重要了,所以我放在他的书里。你瞧,他要念医科学院成为一名医生呢,”她自豪地说。就在这时,门开了,她的儿子大卫走了进来。

看到大卫就是她长久以来暗恋着的那个年轻人,莉莉感到心砰砰直跳。大卫的妈妈兴高采烈地向他解释那封信的事情。大卫惊讶地看着莉莉。“啊,你从图书馆过来的吗?谢谢。我正四处找着那封信呢。”他转身对他妈妈说∶“瞧,我已经被录取去念医院的医学课程了。”然后他回过身对莉莉腼腆地笑着说:“再次感谢你,唔……我还不知道你叫什么名字呢?”

“莉莉,”她说,绽出她那亲切的笑容。两人的生活便由此开始了。

现在我们来听听整个故事。大卫在婚后25年告诉了我们关于那封信的真相。那时大卫已是心血管医生,而他亲爱的莉莉已是他们三个孩子的母亲,大卫给我们讲故事的时候她就坐在一旁。原来大卫并非什么热情的读者。他上图书馆去只是为了能看到这位漂亮的图书管理员。他和母亲讲述了当地图书馆的女孩事,但他太腼腆了,不知如何才能接近她。于是他妈妈想出了这个主意。

每次大卫上图书馆去时,他就把写给自己的信掉到地上。大卫的妈妈希望莉莉捡到这封信后会把大卫叫过桌子那头,然后大卫就有机会与她说上话了。大卫于是每次去图书馆都不断地掉信,可每回信封飞到地上总给人看到,并急忙还给他。

“噢,先生,”他听到别人叫他。可他转过身一看,总也不是莉莉。终于见到莉莉的那天,大卫等到房子里的人只剩下莉莉和她的助理。他再次把信掉在桌旁。他希望次日回去时可以问莉莉是否看到一个写着他名字的信封。不过计划进行得比他设想的要好得多,莉莉竟然亲自来送信。当大卫在讲述这个故事时,他美丽的妻子莉莉笑得上气不接下气。

“大卫,”等她缓过一口气后,说道,“你的信封封得不是很好。我们当时在图书馆里就打开了。我看到里面除了一张白纸什么也没有。可我实在很想知道你在弄什么名堂,于是就装糊涂。大卫,你这个演员真不怎么样。”她双眼闪闪发亮地看着她的丈夫:“可是哦,大卫,我是这么地爱你。”CE

 

1) avid [5Avid] a. 渴望的

2) stacks [stAks] n. 书架,书库

3) strike up 建立起,使开始

4) retrieve[ri5tri:v] v. 找回,取回

5) frantically [frAntikEli] adv. 疯狂似地

6) recipient [ri5sipiEnt] n. 接受者,领受者

7) drop by 顺便拜访

8) turn out 熄灭

9) set down 放下

10) clutch [klQtF] v. 抓住         

11) run across 跑着穿过

12) lobby [5lCbi] n. 大厅     

13) motion [5mEuFEn] v. 打手势,示意

14) specialist [5speFElist] n. 专门医师,专家

15) cardiovascular [7 ka:diEu5vAskjulE]a. 脏血管的

16) devise [di5vaiz] v. 想出(办法),做出(计划)

17) scheme [ski:m] n. 计划,策划

18) dutifully [5djutifuli] adv. 忠实地,忠贞地

19) flutter [5flQtEr] v. 飘动

20) reclaim [ri5kleim] v. 要求归还

21) hysterically [his5terikEli] adv. 歇斯底里地

22) figure out 想出来

23) be up to 做,弄

24) play along 参与,合作                          

25) twinkling [5twiNkEliN] a. 闪烁的,闪亮的

 



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