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VOA慢速超碰97资源站2018--'Athenaise' by Kate Chopin

时间:2018-06-02 15:17来源:互联网 提供网友:nan   字体: [ ]
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Our story today is called "Athenaise." It was written by Kate Chopin. Here is Barbara Klein with the story.

Athenaise went away one morning to visit her parents, ten miles back on the Bon Dieu River in Louisiana. She did not return in the evening, and Cazeau, her husband, was worried.

Cazeau expressed his worries to his servant, Félicité, who served him dinner.

He ate alone by the light of a coal-oil lamp. Félicité stood nearby like a restless1 shadow.

“Only married two months and she has her head turned already to leave! It is not right!” she said.

Cazeau shrugged3 his shoulders. Félicité’s opinion of his wife’s behavior after two months of marriage did not matter to him. He was used to being alone and did not mind a night or two of it. Cazeau stood up and walked outside.

The night was beginning to deepen4 and gather black around the groups of trees in the yard. Far away, he could hear the sound of someone playing an accordion5. Nearby, a baby was crying.

Cazeau’s horse was waiting, saddled6. He still had much farm work to do before bed time. He did not have time to think about Athenaise. But he felt her absence like a deep pain.

Before he slept that night Cazeau was visited by an image of Athenaise’s pale, young face with its soft lips and sensual eyes. The marriage had been a mistake. He had only to look into her eyes to feel that, to sense her growing dislike of him. But, the marriage could not be undone7. And he was ready to make the best of it and expected the same effort from her.

These sad thoughts kept Cazeau awake far into the night. The moon was shining and its pale light reached into the room. It was still outside, with no sound except the distant notes of the accordion.

Athenaise did not return the next day, although her husband sent a message to do so through her brother, Montéclin. On the third day, Cazeau prepared his horse and went himself in search of her.

Athenaise’s parents, the Michés, lived in a large home owned by a trader who lived in town. The house was far too big for their use. Upstairs, the rooms were so large and empty that they were used for parties. A dance at the Miché home and a plate of Madame Miché’s gumbo were pleasures not to be missed.

Madame Miché was sitting on the porch8 outside the house. She stood up to greet Cazeau. She was short and fat with a cheery face. But she was clearly tense as Cazeau arrived.

Montéclin was there too. But he was not uneasy9. He made no effort to hide his dislike of Cazeau.

“Dirty pig!” He said under his breath as Cazeau climbed the stairs to the porch. Montéclin disliked Cazeau for refusing to lend him money long ago. Now that this man was his sister’s husband, he disliked him even more.

Miché and his oldest son were away. They both respected Cazeau and talked highly10 of him.

Cazeau shook hands with Madame Miché who offered him a chair. Athénaise had shut herself in her room.

“You know, nothing would do last night,” Madame Miché said. “Athenaise just had to stay for a little dance. The boys would not let their sister leave!”

Cazeau shrugged his shoulders to show he knew nothing about last night.

“Didn’t Montéclin tell you we were going to keep Athenaise?” she asked. But Montéclin had told him nothing.

“And how about the night before?” asked Cazeau. “And last night? Do you have dances every night?”

Madame Miché laughed and told her son to go tell Athenaise her husband had arrived. Montéclin did not move.

“You know as well as I do that it is no use to tell Athenaise anything,” said Montéclin. “You and pa have been talking to her since Monday. When Athenaise said she was not returning to Cazeau she meant it.”

Two fiery11 red spots rose to Cazeau’s cheeks. What Montéclin said was true.

Upon arriving home, Athenaise had announced she was there to stay. It was difficult for her to understand why she had married. Girls were just expected to get married. And she did like Cazeau.

Montéclin had asked Athenaise to explain herself. He had asked her if Cazeau abused12 her, or if he drank too much.

“No!” Athenaise had said. “It is just being married that I hate. I do not like being Missus Cazeau. I want to be Athenaise Miché again. I do not like living with a man, all his clothing everywhere and his ugly bare feet.”

At the time, Montéclin had been sorry his sister had no serious evidence to use against Cazeau.

And now, there was Cazeau himself looking like he wanted to hit Montéclin.

Cazeau stood up and went inside the house to his wife’s room.

“Athenaise, get ready,” he said quietly. “It is late and we do not have time to lose.”

Athenaise was not prepared for his calm request. She felt a sense of hopelessness about continuing to rebel13 against the idea of marriage. She gathered her hat and gloves. Then, she walked downstairs past her brother and mother, got on her horse and rode away. Cazeau followed behind her.

It was late when they reached home. Cazeau once more ate dinner alone. Athenaise sat in her room crying.

Athenaise’s parents had hoped that marriage would bring a sense of responsibility so deeply lacking in her character. No one could understand why she so hated her role as wife. Cazeau had never spoken angrily to her or called her names or failed to give her everything she wanted. His main offense14 seemed to be that he loved her.

And Athenaise was not a woman to be loved against her will.

At breakfast, Athenaise complained to her husband.

“Why did you have to marry me when there were so many other girls to choose from?” she asked. “And, it is strange that if you hate my brother so much, why you would marry his sister!?"

“I do not know what any of them have to do with it,” Cazeau said. “I married you because I loved you. I guess I was a fool to think I could make you happy. I do not know what else to do but make the best of a bad deal and shake hands over it.”

It now seemed to Athenaise that her brother was the only friend left to her in the world. Her parents had turned from her and her friends laughed at her. But Montéclin had an idea for securing15 his sister’s freedom. After some thought, Athenaise agreed to his plan.

The next morning, Cazeau woke up to find his wife was gone. She had packed her belongings16 and left in the night.

Cazeau felt a terrible sense of loss. It was not new; he had felt it for weeks.

He realized he had missed his chance for happiness. He could not think of loving any other woman, and could not imagine Athenaise ever caring for him. He wrote her a letter stating that he did not want her back unless she returned of her own free will.

Athenaise had escaped to the big city of New Orleans. She was staying at a private hotel that Montéclin had chosen and paid to rent for a month. A woman named Sylvie owned the hotel and took good care of Athenaise.

Athenaise soon became friends with Mister17 Gouvernail, who was also staying at the hotel. This friendship helped her feel less lonely about missing18 her family. But Mister Gouvernail soon started to fall in love with Athenaise. He knew she was uninformed, unsatisfied and strong-willed. But he also suspected that she loved her husband, although she did not know it. Bitter as this belief was, he accepted it.

Athenaise’s last week in the city was coming to an end. She had not found a job and was too homesick to stay any longer. Also, she had not been feeling well. She complained in detail about her sickness to Sylvie. Sylvie was very wise, and Athenaise was very stupid. Sylvie very calmly explained to Athenaise that she was feeling sick because she was pregnant19.

Athenaise sat very still for a long time thinking about this new information. Her whole being was overcome with a wave of happiness. Then, she stood up, ready to take action.

She had to tell her mother! And Cazeau! As she thought of him, a whole new sense of life swept over her. She could not wait to return to him.

The next day Athenaise spent travelling home. When she arrived at Cazeau’s, he lifted her out of the horse carriage and they held each other tight. The country night was warm and still except for a baby crying in the distance.

“Listen, Cazeau!” said Athenaise. “How Juliette’s baby is crying! Poor darling, I wonder what is the matter with it?”

Words in This Story

shrug2 - v. to raise and lower your shoulders usually to show that you do not know or care about something

sensual - adj. relating to, devoted20 to, or producing physical or sexual21 pleasure

gumbo - n. a thick soup made in the southern U.S. with meat or seafood22 and usually okra

role - n. the character played by an actor

secure23 - v. to get (something) by using effort

homesick - adj. sad because you are away from your family and home

overcome - v. to affect (someone) very strongly or severely - usually used as (be) overcome


点击收听单词发音收听单词发音  

1 restless nWWx3     
adj.焦躁不安的;静不下来的,运动不止的
参考例句:
  • He looks like a restless man.他看上去坐立不安。
  • He has been very restless all day and he awoke nearly all last night.他一整天都心神不定,昨夜几乎一整夜没有合眼。
2 shrug Ry3w5     
v.耸肩(表示怀疑、冷漠、不知等)
参考例句:
  • With a shrug,he went out of the room.他耸一下肩,走出了房间。
  • I admire the way she is able to shrug off unfair criticism.我很佩服她能对错误的批评意见不予理会。
3 shrugged 497904474a48f991a3d1961b0476ebce     
vt.耸肩(shrug的过去式与过去分词形式)
参考例句:
  • Sam shrugged and said nothing. 萨姆耸耸肩膀,什么也没说。
  • She shrugged, feigning nonchalance. 她耸耸肩,装出一副无所谓的样子。 来自《简明英汉词典》
4 deepen Vxax5     
vt./vi.加深,(使)变深,加重,加浓
参考例句:
  • We'll have to deepen the well if we want more water.如果我们想要更多的水,就得把井加深。
  • Her wrinkles deepen with age.她的皱纹随年龄增长而变深。
5 accordion rf1y7     
n.手风琴;adj.可折叠的
参考例句:
  • The accordion music in the film isn't very beautiful.这部影片中的手风琴音乐不是很好。
  • The accordion music reminds me of my boyhood.这手风琴的乐声让我回忆起了我的少年时代。
6 saddled 5b351ff96a2f4c7d65428ebcacb43435     
给(马)装鞍(saddle的过去式与过去分词形式)
参考例句:
  • He saddled his horse, mounted, and rode away at a gallop. 他给马套上鞍子,跨上马背疾驰而去。
  • At his father's death he was saddled with heavy debts. 他父亲的死使他负起很重的债务。
7 undone JfJz6l     
a.未做完的,未完成的
参考例句:
  • He left nothing undone that needed attention.所有需要注意的事他都注意到了。
8 porch ju9yM     
n.门廊,入口处,走廊,游廊
参考例句:
  • There are thousands of pages of advertising on our porch.有成千上万页广告堆在我们的门廊上。
  • The porch is supported by six immense pillars.门廊由六根大柱子支撑着。
9 uneasy 8kDwf     
adj.心神不安的,担心的,令人不安的
参考例句:
  • He feels uneasy today.他今天心里感到不安。
  • She had an uneasy feeling that they were still following her.她有一种他们仍在跟踪她的不安感觉。
10 highly XdFxR     
adv.高度地,极,非常;非常赞许地
参考例句:
  • It is highly important to provide for the future.预先做好准备非常重要。
  • The teacher speaks very highly of the boy's behaviour.老师称赞这个男孩的表现。
11 fiery ElEye     
adj.燃烧着的,火红的;暴躁的;激烈的
参考例句:
  • She has fiery red hair.她有一头火红的头发。
  • His fiery speech agitated the crowd.他热情洋溢的讲话激动了群众。
12 abused 482ca9785da6dd20487dc4e04f87e355     
v.妄用( abuse的过去式和过去分词 );虐待;辱骂
参考例句:
  • All the children had been physically and emotionally abused. 所有这些儿童的身心都受到了摧残。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • This rule was brought into being because the old law was abused. 由于旧的法律遭到滥用,这条规则便应运而生。 来自《简明英汉词典》
13 rebel VANz2     
n.叛徒,起义者;vi.造反,反抗,反感;adj.造反的,反抗的,反叛者的
参考例句:
  • The rebel army is attempting to subvert the government.反叛军队企图颠覆政府统治。
  • The rebel army has readjusted its strategy.叛军已经重新调整了策略。
14 offense HIvxd     
n.犯规,违法行为;冒犯,得罪
参考例句:
  • I hope you will not take any offense at my words. 对我讲的话请别见怪。
  • His words gave great offense to everybody present.他的发言冲犯了在场的所有人。
15 securing 88880332be28bd079471e66cde000520     
保护( secure的现在分词 ); (使)获得; 使安全; 担保
参考例句:
  • She did not take into account how much liberty she was securing. 她并不考虑自己已获得了多少自由。 来自英汉文学 - 嘉莉妹妹
  • Longfellow was lucky in securing a professorship of modern languages at Harvard. 朗费罗能够在哈佛大学当上现代语言教授是出于幸运。
16 belongings oy6zMv     
n.私人物品,私人财物
参考例句:
  • I put a few personal belongings in a bag.我把几件私人物品装进包中。
  • Your personal belongings are not dutiable.个人物品不用纳税。
17 mister rnQzwB     
n.(略作Mr.全称很少用于书面)先生
参考例句:
  • Mister Smith is my good friend.史密斯先生是我的好朋友。
  • He styled himself " Mister Clean ".他自称是“清廉先生”。
18 missing 3nTzx7     
adj.遗失的,缺少的,失踪的
参考例句:
  • Check the tools and see if anything is missing.检点一下工具,看有无丢失。
  • All the others are here;he's the only one missing.别人都来了,就短他一个。
19 pregnant IP3xP     
adj.怀孕的,怀胎的
参考例句:
  • She is a pregnant woman.她是一名孕妇。
  • She is pregnant with her first child.她怀了第一胎。
20 devoted xu9zka     
adj.忠诚的,忠实的,热心的,献身于...的
参考例句:
  • He devoted his life to the educational cause of the motherland.他为祖国的教育事业贡献了一生。
  • We devoted a lengthy and full discussion to this topic.我们对这个题目进行了长时间的充分讨论。
21 sexual YiLzlw     
adj.性的,两性的,性别的
参考例句:
  • He was a person of gross sexual appetites.他是个性欲旺盛的人。
  • It is socially irresponsible to refuse young people advice on sexual matters.拒绝向年轻人提供性方面的建议是对社会不负责任。
22 seafood 7j6zUl     
n.海产食品,海味,海鲜
参考例句:
  • There's an excellent seafood restaurant near here.离这儿不远有家非常不错的海鲜馆。
  • Shrimps are a popular type of seafood.小虾是比较普遍的一种海味。
23 secure LTmzi     
adj.无虑的,安心的,安全的;adj.牢靠的,稳妥的;vt.固定,获得,使...安全;vi.(海上工作人员)停止工;vi.(船)抛锚,停泊
参考例句:
  • He found a secure foothold and pulled himself up.他找到了一个稳固的踏脚处并爬了上去。
  • Extra men are needed to secure the camp against attack.需要增加兵力以保护军营免受攻击。
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