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   英语听力小窍门 | 测试:"摇钱树"怎么说?
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新版大学英语综合教程第四册 UNIT8-1
时间:2008-10-9 0:03:11  来源:本站原创  作者:echo   测测英语水平如何 | 挑生词: 

8    Now, as I combed my hair in the little tent, another of the men, a free-lance writer from Manhattan, was talking quietly. He was telling us the tale of his life, describing his work in Hollywood, his apartment in Manhattan, his house in Paris.... "It makes me wonder," he said, "what I'm doing in a tent under a tree in the village of Pompeya, on the Napo River, in the jungle of Ecuador." After a pause he added, "It makes me wonder why I'm going back."
      此刻,我在低矮的帐篷里梳理着头发,另一个北美人,一位来自曼哈顿的自由作家,正在轻声说话。他在向我们讲述他人生的故事,讲述他在好莱坞的工作、在曼哈顿的公寓、在巴黎的家…… “我不由纳闷,”他说,“在厄瓜多尔的丛林里,在纳波河上,在蓬帕雅小村,在树下的帐篷里,自己在干什么。”他顿了顿,接着说:“我不由寻思,自己为什么要回去。” 
9    The point of going somewhere like the Napo River in Ecuador is not to see the most spectacular anything. It is simply to see what is there. We are here on the planet only once, and might as well get a feel for the place. We might as well get a feel for the fringes and hollows in which life is lived, for the Amazon basin, which covers half a continent, and for the life that -- there, like anywhere else -- is always and necessarily lived in detail: on the tributaries, in the riverside villages, sucking this particular white-fleshed guava in this particular pattern of shade.
10    What is there is interesting. The Napo River itself is wide and brown, opaque, and smeared with floating foam and logs and branches from the jungle. Parrots in flocks dart in and out of the light. Under the water in the river, unseen, are anacondas -- which are reputed to take a few village toddlers every year -- and water boas, crocodiles, and sweet-meated fish.
11    Low water bares gray strips of sandbar on which the natives build tiny palm-thatch shelters for overnight fishing trips. You see these extraordinarily clean people (who bathe twice a day in the river, and whose straight black hair is always freshly washed) paddling down the river in dugout canoes, hugging the banks.
12    Some of the Indians of this region, earlier in the century, used to sleep naked in hammocks. The nights are cold. Gordon MacCreach, an American explorer in these Amazon tributaries, reported that he was startled to hear the Indians get up at three in the morning. He was even more startled, night after night, to hear them walk down to the river slowly, half asleep, and bathe in the water. Only later did he learn what they were doing: they were getting warm. The cold woke them; they warmed their skins in the river, which was always ninety degrees; then they returned to their hammocks and slept through the rest of the night.
13    When you are inside the jungle, away from the river, the trees vault out of sight. Butterflies, bright blue, striped, or clear-winged, thread the jungle paths at eye level. And at your feet is a swath of ants bearing triangular bits of green leaf. The ants with their leaves look like a wide fleet of sailing dinghies -- but they don't quit. In either direction they wobble over the jungle floor as far as the eye can see.
14    Long lakes shine in the jungle. We traveled one of these in dugout canoes, canoes paddled with machete-hewn oars, or poled in the shallows with bamboo. Our part-Indian guide had cleared the path to the lake the day before; when we walked the path we saw where he had impaled the lopped head of a boa, open-mouthed, on a pointed stick by the canoes, for decoration.
15    This lake was wonderful. Herons plodded the shores, kingfishers and cuckoos clattered from sunlight to shade, great turkeylike birds fussed in dead branches, and hawks hung overhead. There was all the time in the world. A turtle slid into the water. The boy in the bow of my canoe slapped stones at birds with a simple sling, a rubber thong and leather pad. He aimed brilliantly at moving targets, always, and always missed; the birds were out of range. He stuffed his sling back in his shirt. I looked around.
16    The lake and river waters are as opaque as rainforest leaves; they are veils, blinds, painted screens. You see things only by their effects. I saw the shoreline water heave above a thrashing paichi, an enormous black fish of these waters; one had been caught the previous week weighing 430 pounds. Piranha fish live in the lakes, and electric eels. I dangled my fingers in the water, figuring it would be worth it.

17    We would eat chicken that night in the village, together with rice, onions and heaps of fruit. The sun would ring down, pulling darkness after it like a curtain. Twilight is short, and the unseen birds of twilight wistful, catching the heart. The two nuns in their dazzling white habits -- the beautiful-boned young nun and the warm-faced old -- would glide to the open cane-and-thatch schoolroom in darkness, and start the children singing. The children would sing in piping Spanish, high-pitched and pure; they would sing "Nearer My God to Thee" in Quechua, very fast. As the children became excited by their own singing, they left their log benches and swarmed around the nuns, hopping, smiling at us, everyone smiling, the nuns' faces bursting in their cowls, and the clear-voiced children still singing, and the palm-leafed roofing stirred.
18    The Napo River: it is not out of the way. It is in the way, catching sunlight the way a cup catches poured water; it is a bowl of sweet air, a basin of greenness, and of grace, and, it would seem, of peace.

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