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MRS. PACKLETIDE'S TIGEK




 

It was Mrs. Packletide's pleasure and intention that she should shoot a tiger. Not that the desire to kill had suddenly come to her. The compelling motive for the intention was the fact that Loona Bimberton had recently been carried eleven miles in an airplane and talked of nothing else; only a per­sonally procured tiger skin and a heavy harvest of press photographs could successfully counter that sort of thing. Mrs. Packletide had already arranged in her mind the lunch she would give in her house in Curzon Street, in Loona Bimberton's honour, with a tiger skin occupying most of the foreground and all the conversation.

Circumstances proved favourable. Mrs. Packletide had offered a thousand rupees for the opportunity of shooting a tiger, and it so happened that an old tiger was in the habit of coming to a neighbouring village at night. He was so old that he had to abandon game-killing and confine his appe­tite to the smaller domestic animals. The prospect of getting the thousand rupees stimulated the commercial instincts of the villagers; children were posted night and day in the jungle to watch the tiger, and the cheeper kind of goats were left about to keep him satisfied with his present quar­ters. The one great anxiety was lest he should die of old age[53] before the day of Mrs. Packletide's shoot.

The great night arrived. A platform had been constructed in a comfortable big tree, and on it sat Mrs. Packletide and her paid companion, Miss Mebbin. A goat, with a loud bleat, such as even a partially deaf tiger might be expected to hear on a still night, was tied down at a correct distance.

"I suppose we are in some danger?" said Miss Mebbin.

She was not really afraid of the wild beast, but she did not wish to perform an atom more service than she had been paid for.

"Nonsense," said Mrs. Packletide, "it's a very old tiger. It couldn't spring up here even if he wanted to."

"If it is an old tiger I think you ought to get it cheaper. A thousand rupees is a lot of money."



Their conversation was cut short by the appearance of the animal itself.

As soon as it saw the goat it lay flat on the earth for the purpose of taking a short rest before beginning the attack.

"I believe it is ill," said Louisa Mebbin, loudly.

"Hush!" said Mrs. Packletide, and at that moment the tiger began moving towards the goat.

"Now, now!" urged Miss Mebbin with some excitement, "if he doesn't touch the goat we needn't pay for it."

The rifle flashed out with a loud report, and the great yellow beast rolled over in the stillness of death. In a mo­ment a crowd of excited villagers appeared on the scene, and their triumph found a ready echo in the heart of Mrs. Packletide; already that lunch in Gurzon Street seemed much nearer.

It was Louisa Mebbin who drew attention to the fact that the goat was dying from a bullet wound; while no trace of the rifle's work could be found on the tiger. Evi­dently the wrong animal had been hit, and the tiger had died of heart failure, caused by the sudden report of the rifle. Mrs. Packletide did not like the discovery, but the villagers gladly supported the fiction that she had shot the beast. And Miss Mebbin was a paid companion. There­fore, Mrs. Packletide faced the cameras with a light heart, and her picture appeared on the pages of all papers in England and America. As for Loona Bimberton, she refused to look at a paper for weeks. The lunch-party she declined.

The tiger skin was inspected and admired, and Mrs. Packletide went to a costume ball in the character of Diana[54].

"How amused everyone would be if they knew what really happened," said Louisa Mebbin a few days after the ball.

"What do you mean?" asked Mrs. Packletide quickly.

"How you shot the goat and frightened the tiger to death," said Miss Mebbin, with her disagreeably pleasant laugh.

"No one would believe it," said Mrs. Packletide, her face changing colour.

"Loona Bimberton would," said Miss Mebbin. Mrs. Packletide's face settled on an ugly shade of greenish white.

"You surely wouldn't give away?" she asked.

"I've seen a week-end cottage near Dorking[55] that I should like to buy," said Miss Mebbin. "Six hundred and eighty. Quite cheap, only I don't happen to have the mon­ey."

Louisa Mebbin's pretty week-end cottage is the wonder and admiration of her friends.

Mrs. Packletide does no more shooting.

"The incidental expenses are so heavy," she says to in­quiring friends.

 

THE MOUSE

 

Theodoric Voter had been brought up, from in­fancy to the middle age, by a fond mother whose chief wish had been to keep him away from what she called the coarser realities of life. When she died she left Theodoric alone in a world that was as real as ever, and a good deal coarser than he had thought. To a man of his temperament and upbringing even a simple railway journey was an annoying experience, and as he settled himself down in a second-class compart­ment one September morning he felt very uneasy. He had been staying at a country house. The pony carriage that was to take him to the station had never been prop­erly ordered and when the moment for his departure drew near, the coachman was nowhere to be found. In this emergency Theodoric, to his disgust, had to harness the pony himself in an ill-lighted outhouse called a stable, and smelling very like one — except in patches where it smelt of mice. Theodoric was not actually afraid of mice, yet classed them among the coarser incidents of life. As the train glided out of the station Theodoric's nervous imagination accused him of smelling of stable-yard, and possibly of having a straw or two on his usually well-brushed garments. Fortunately the only other occu­pant of the compartment, a lady of about the same age as himself, was sleeping; the train was not due to stop till the terminus[56] was reached, in about an hour's time, and the carriage was of the old-fashioned sort, that had no communication with a corridor, therefore nobody could intrude on Theodoric's semi-privacy. And yet the train had scarcely gained speed before be became aware that he was not alone with the sleeping lady; he was not even alone in his own clothes. A warm, creeping move­ment over his flesh betrayed the unwelcome presence of a strayed mouse, that had evidently got in during the episode of the pony harnessing. Shakes and wildly di­rected pinches failed to drive out the intruder, and soon Theodoric understood that nothing but undressing would save him of his tormentor, and to undress in the presence of a lady, even for so excusable a purpose, was an idea that made him blush. He had never been able to bring himself even to the mild exposure of socks in the presence of the fair sex. And yet — the lady in this case was to all appearances soundly asleep; the mouse, on the other hand, seemed to be trying to crowd a Wanderjahr into a few minutes[57]. Theodoric decided on the bravest under­taking in his life. Blushing like a beetroot and keeping an agonized watch on his sleeping fellow-traveller, he swiftly and noiselessly fastened the ends of his railway-rug[58] to the racks on either side of the carriage, so that a substantial curtain hung across the compartment. In the narrow dressing-room that he had thus improvised he began with violent haste to extricate himself and the mouse from his clothes. As the mouse jumped wildly to the floor, the rug, slipping its fastenings at either end, also came down with a -flap, and almost simultaneously the awakened sleeper opened her eyes. With a move ment almost quicker than the mouse's, Theodoric seized the rug and hid himself under it in the further corner of the carriage. The blood raced and beat in the veins of his neck and forehead, while he waited dumbly for the lady to speak. She, however, continued staring at him in silence. How much had she seen, Theodoric asked himself, and in any case what on earth must she think of his pres­ent position?

"I think I have caught a chill," he said desperately.

"Really, I'm sorry," she replied. "I was just going to ask you to open the window."

"I fancy it's malaria," he added; his teeth were chat­tering slightly, as much from fright as from a desire to support his theory.

"I've got some brandy in my bag, if you kindly reach it down for me," said his companion.

"No — I mean, I never take anything for it," he assured her earnestly.

"I suppose you caught it in the Tropics?" Theodoric, whose acquaintance with the Tropics was limited to Ceylon tea, felt that even the malaria was slipping from him. Would it be possible, he wondered, to disclose the real state of affairs to her ?

"Are you afraid of mice?" he asked, growing more scarlet in the face.

"Not unless they come in quantities. Why do you ask?"

"I had one crawling inside my clothes just now," said Theodoric in a voice that hardly seemed his own."It was a most awkward situation."

"It must have been, if you wear your clothes very tight," she observed; "but mice have strange ideas of comfort."

"I had to get rid of it while you were asleep," he con­tinued; then, with a gulp, he added, "and getting rid of it brought me to — to this."

"Surely one small mouse wouldn't cause a chill," she exclaimed gaily.

Evidently she had detected something in his situa­tion and was enjoying his confusion. All the blood of his body seemed to have mobilized in one blush. And then, as he thought of it, he was seized with terror. With every minute that passed the train was rushing nearer to the crowded terminus where he would be watched by dozens of eyes instead of the one paralysing pair that watched him from the further corner of the carriage. There was a chance that his fellow-traveller might fall asleep again, but every time Theodoric stole a glance at her he saw her open unwinking eyes. .

"I think we must be getting near now," she presently observed.

The words acted like a signal. Like a hunted beast he threw aside the rug and struggled frantically into his clothes. He saw small suburban stations racing past the window and felt an icy silence in that corner towards which he dared not look. Then as he sank back in his seat, dressed and almost delirious, the train slowed down, and the woman spoke.

"Would you be so kind," she asked, "as to get me a porter to put me into a cab? It's a shame to trouble you when you're feeling unwell, but my blindness makes me so helpless at railway stations,"

 

 

14. Ring Lardner

TOO MUCH OF A GOOD THING

My husband has to spend almost all his time in the theater and that leaves me alone in a hotel, if his musical is running out-of-town, and pretty soon people find out whose wife I am and introduce themselves, and the next thing you know they are inviting us for a week or a week­end. Then it's up to me to think of some reason why we can't come. Ben absolutely hates visiting and thinks there ought to be a law against invitations. After a couple of visits Ben thought of a method of putting off people[59]. He would write himself a telegram and sign it with the name of one of the famous producers, and leave the telegram with his secretary with the instructions to send it to us twenty-four hours later. When it arrived at whatever place we were, we would put on long faces and say how sorry we were, but of course business was business, so good­bye. There was never any suspicion even when the telegrams were ridic­ulous, like this one:

Both the leading actors have laryngitis Stop[60] Score must be rewritten half a tone lower Stop Come at once Stop

C.B. Dillingham

 

However, if we happened to be enjoying ourselves, then Ben would

say to our hosts that he wasn't going to let any theatrical producer spoil his fun.

Last September we were invited to come and spend a week with a nice, intelligent couple, the Thayers. "I promise you," Mrs. Thayer said, "that you won't be disturbed at all; we won't invite people in. I won't allow Mr. Drake to even touch the piano. All day he can do nothing or anything, just as he pleases."

We accepted the invitation. "If they stick to their promise, it may be a lot better than staying in New York where my producer won't give me a minute's peace," said Ben. "And if things aren't as good as they look, we always have that telegram."

The Thayers met us at the station in an expensive-looking limousine. "Ralph," said Mrs. Thayer to her husband, "you sit in one of the little seats and Mr. and Mrs. Drake will sit back here with me."

"I'd rather have one of the little seats myself," said Ben and he meant it.

"No, sir!" said Mrs. Thayer. "You came to us for a rest, and we're not going to start you off uncomfortable." It was no use arguing.

All through the drive Ben was unable to think of anything but how terrible his coat would look when he got out.

After luncheon we had coffee.

"Don't you take cream, Mr. Drake?" Mrs. Thayer asked. "No. Never."

"But that's because you don't get good cream in New York." "No. It's because I don't like cream in coffee."

"You would like our cream. We have our own cows. Won't vou try just a little?"

"No, thanks."

"But just a little, to see how rich it is." She poured some cream into Ben's coffee-cup and for a second I held my breath and closed my eyes for fear of seeing Ben throwing the cup in her face.

After luncheon we were sitting in the living-room when Ben rose and went straight to the piano.

"None of that!" said Mrs. Thayer. "I haven't forgotten my promise."

"But there is a melody in my head that I'd like to try."

"Oh, yes, I know all about that. You just think that you MUST play to us! We invited you here for yourself, not to enjoy your talent."

Ben walked over to the book-case and took a book out.

"What book is that?" asked Mrs. Thayer.

"The Great Gatsby," said Ben. "I've always wanted to read it."

"Heavens!" said Mrs. Thayer as she took it away from him. "That's old! You'll find the newest ones there on the table. We keep pretty well up to date. Ralph and I are both great readers. Just try one of those books in that pile. They're all goоd."

Ben took a book, sat down and opened it.

"Man! Man!" exclaimed Mrs. Thayer. "You've picked the most uncomfortable chair in the house."

"He likes straight chairs," I said.

"It makes me uncomfortable just to look at you. You'd better take this chair here. It's the softest, nicest chair you've ever sat on."

"I like hard straight chairs," said Ben, fighting down his annoyance[61] but he sank into the soft, nice one and again opened the book.

"Oh, you never can see there!" said the fussy Mrs. Thayer. "You'll ruin your eyes. Get up just a minute and let Ralph move your chair to that lamp."

"I don't believe I want to read just now," said Ben.

And so it went on all through the afternoon and evening.

Just as we were getting to sleep, Mrs. Thayer knocked on our door. "I'm afraid you haven't covers enough," she called.

"Thanks," I said. "We're quite warm."

"I'm afraid you aren't," continued Mrs. Thayer to whom it never occurred how annoying she was.

"Lock the door," said Ben ill-temperedly, "before she comes in and feels our feet."

All through breakfast next morning we waited for the telephone call about the telegram. The phone did ring once and Mrs. Thayer an­swered, but we couldn't hear what she said.

After breakfast Ben told Mrs. Thayer that he had a feeling that he must be back in New York.

"That's very strange," said Mrs. Thayer, "because a telegram came to you at breakfast time. I wasn't going to tell you about it because I had promised that you wouldn't be disturbed. I remember the tele­gram by heart. It ran:

Bass drum part all wrong. Would like you to come to the theater tonight.

Gene Buck

 

Just as the trainmen were shouting "Board!" Mrs. Thayer said:

"Please forgive me if I have done something terrible, but I answered Mr. Buck's telegram. I wired: 'Mr. Ben Drake resting at my home. Must not be bothered. Suggest that you keep bass drums still for a week. And I signed my name."

 

 

15. DAMON RUNYON

 

SENSE OF HUMOUR

 

One night I am standing[62] in front of Mindy’s restaurant on Broadway, thinking of practically nothing whatever, when all of a sudden I feel a very terrible pain in my left foot.

In fact, this pain is so very terrible that it causes me to leap up and down like a bullfrog, and to let out loud cries of agony, and to speak some very profane language, which is by no means my custom, although of course I recognize the pain as coming from a hot foot, because I often experience this pain before.

Furthermore, I know Joe the Joker must be in the neighbour­hood, as Joe the Joker has the most wonderful sense of humour of anybody in this town, and is always around giving people the hot foot, and gives it to me more times than I can remember. In fact, I hear Joe the Joker invents the hot foot, and it finally becomes a very popular idea all over the country.

The way you give a hot foot is to sneak up behind some guy who is standing around thinking of not much, and stick a paper match to his shoe between the sole and the upper along about where his little toe ought to be, and then light the match. By and by the guy will feel a terrible pain in his foot and will start stamping around, and hollering, and carrying on[63] general­ly, and it is always a most comical sight and a wonderful laugh to one and all to see him suffer.

No one in the world can give a hot foot as good as Joe the Joker, because it takes a guy who can sneak up very quiet on the guy who is to get the hot foot, and Joe can sneak up so quiet many guys on Broadway are willing to lay you odds[64] that he can give a mouse a hot foot if you can find a mouse that wears shoes. Furthermore, Joe the Joker can take plenty of care of himself in case the guy who gets the hot foot feels like taking the matter up[65], which sometimes happens, especially with guys who get their shoes made to order at forty bobs per copy and do not care to have holes burned in these shoes.

But Joe does not care what kind of shoes the guys are wear­ing when he feels like giving out hot foots, and furthermore, he does not care who the guys are, although many citizens think he makes a mistake the time he gives a hot foot to Frankie Ferocious. In fact, many citizens are greatly horrified by this action, and go around saying no good will come of it.

This Frankie Ferocious comes from over in Brooklyn, where he is considered a rising citizen in many respects, and by no means a guy to give hot foots to, especially as Frankie Ferocious has no sense of humour whatever. In fact, he is always very solemn, and nobody ever sees him laugh, and he certainly does not laugh when Joe the Joker gives him a hot foot one day on Broadway when Frankie Ferocious is standing talking over a business matter with some guys from the Bronx.

He only scowls at Joe, and says something in Italian, and while I do not understand Italian, it sounds so unpleasant that I guarantee I will leave town inside of the next two hours if he says it to me.

Of course Frankie Ferocious’s name is not really Ferocious, but something in Italian like Feroccio, and I hear he originally comes from Sicily, although he lives in Brooklyn for quite some years, and from a modest beginning, he builds himself up until he is a very large operator in merchandise of one kind and .another, especially alcohol. He is a big guy of maybe thirty-odd, and he has hair blacker than a yard up a chimney, and black eyes, and black eyebrows, and a slow way of looking at people.

Nobody knows a whole lot about Frankie Ferocious, because he never has much to say, and he takes his time saying it[66], but everybody gives him plenty of room when he comes around, as there are rumours that Frankie never likes to be crowded. As far as I am concerned, I do not care for any part of Frankie Ferocious, because his slow way of looking at people always makes me nervous, and I am always sorry Joe the Joker gives him a hot foot, because I figure Frankie Ferocious is bound to consider it a most disrespectful action, and hold it against everybody that lives on the Island of Manhattan.

But Joe the Joker only laughs when anybody tells him he is out of line in giving Frankie the hot foot, and says it is not his fault if Frankie has no sense of humour. Furthermore, Joe says he will not only give Frankie another hot foot if he gets a chance, but that he will give hot foots to the Prince of Wales or Mussolini, if he catches them in the right spot, although Regret, the horse player, states that Joe can have twenty to one any time that he will not give Mussolini any hot foots and get away with it.

Anyway, just as I suspect, there is Joe the Joker watching me when I feel the hot foot, and he is laughing very heartily, and furthermore, a large number of other citizens are also laughing heartily, because Joe the Joker never sees any fun in giving people the hot foot unless others are present to enjoy the joke.

Well, naturally when I see who gives me the hot foot 1 join in the laughter, and go over and shake hands with Joe, and when I shake hands with him there is more laughter, because it seems Joe has a hunk of Limburger cheese in his duke, and what I shake hands with is this Limburger. Furthermore, it ia some of Mindy's Limburger cheese, and everybody knows Mindy’s Limburger is very squashy, and also very loud.

Of course I laugh at this, too, although to tell the truth I will laugh much more heartily if Joe the Joker drops dead in front of me, because I do not like to be made the subject of laughter on Broadway. But my laugh is really quite hearty when Joe takes the rest of the cheese that is not on my fingers and smears it on the steering-wheels of some automobiles parked in front of Mindy's, because I get to thinking of what the driv­ers will say when they start steering their cars.

Then I get to talking to Joe the Joker, and I ask him how things are up in Harlem, where Joe and his younger brother Freddy, and several other guys have a small organization oper­ating in beer, and Joe says things are as good as can be expected considering business conditions. Then I ask him how Rosa is getting along, this Rosa being Joe the Joker’s ever-loving wife, and a personal friend of mine, as I know her when she is Rosa Midnight and is singing in the old Hot Box before Joe hauls off and marries her.

Well, at this question Joe the Joker, starts laughing, and I can see that something appeals to his sense of humour, and finally he speaks as follows:

"Why," he says, "do you not hear the news about Rosa? She takes the wind on[67] me a couple of months ago for my friend Frankie Ferocious, and is living in an apartment over in Brooklyn, right near his house, although," Joe says, "of course you understand I am telling you this only to answer your question, and not to holler copper on[68] Rosa."

Then he lets out another large ha-ha, and in fact Joe the Joker keeps laughing until I am afraid he will injure himself internally. Personally, I do not see anything comical in a guy's ever-loving wife taking the wind on him for a guy like Frankie Ferocious, so when Joe the Joker quiets down a bit I ask him what is funny about the proposition.

"Why," Joe says, "I have to laugh every time I think of how the big greaseball is going to feel when he finds out how expen­sive Rosa is. I do not know how many things Frankie Ferocious has running for him in Brooklyn," Joe says, "but he better try to move himself in on the mint[69] if he wishes to keep Rosa going."

Then he laughs again, and I consider it wonderful the way Joe is able to keep his sense of humour even in such a situation, as this, although up to this time I always think Joe is very daffy indeed about Rosa, who is a little doll, weighing maybe ninety pounds with her hat on and quite cutе.

Now I judge from what Joe the Joker tells me that Frankie Ferocious knows Rosa before Joe marries her and is always pitching to her when she is singing in the Hot Box, and even after she is Joe’s ever-loving wife, Frankie occasionally calls her up, especially when he commences to be a rising citizen of Brooklyn, although of course Joe does not learn about these calls until later. And about the time Frankie Ferocious commences to he a rising citizen of Brooklyn, things begin breaking a little tough for Joe the Joker, what with the depression and all, and he has to economize on Rosa in spots, and if there is one thing Rosa cannot stand it is being economized on.

Along about now, Joe the Joker gives Frankie Ferocious the hot foot, and just as many citizens state at the time, it is a mistake, for Frankie starts calling Rosa up more than somewhat, and speaking of what a nice place Brooklyn is to live in - which it is, at that - and between these boosts for Brooklyn and Joe the Joker's economy, Rosa hauls off leaving Joe a note telling him that if he does not like it he knows what he can do.

"Well, Joe," I say, after listening to his story, "I always hate to hear of these little domestic difficulties among my friends, but maybe this is all for the best. Still, I feel sorry tor you, if it will do you any good," I say.

"Do not feel sorry for me," Joe says, "If you wish to feel sorry for anybody, feel sorry for Frankie Ferocious, and," ha says, "if you can spare a little more sorrow, give it to Rosa."

And Joe the Joker laughs very hearty again and starts tell­ing me about a little scatter that he has up in Harlem where he keeps a chair fixed up with electric wires so he can give anybody that sits down in it a nice jolt, which sounds very humorous to me.

Finally Joe says he has to get back to Harlem, but first he goes to the telephone in the corner cigar store and calls up Mindy’s and imitates a doll’s voice, and tells Mindy he is Peggy Joyce, or somebody, and orders fifty dozen sandwiches sent up at once to an apartment in West Seventy-second Street for a birthday party, although of course there is no such number as he gives, and nobody there will wish fifty dozen sandwiches if there is such a number.

Then Joe gets in his car and starts off, and while he is waiting for the traffic lights at Fiftieth Street. I see citizens on the sideways making sudden leaps and looking around very fierce, and I know Joe the Joker is plugging them with pellets made out of tin foil, which he fires from a rubber band hooked between his thumb and forefinger.

Joe the Joker is very expert with this proposition, and it is very funny to see the citizens jump, although once or twice in his life Joe makes a miscue and knocks out somebody’s eye. But it is all in fun, and stows you what a wonderful sense of humour Joe has.

Well, a few days later 1 see by the papers where a couple of Harlem guys, Joe the Joker is mobbed up with[70] are found done up in sacks over in Brooklyn, very dead indeed, and the coppers say it is because they are trying to move in on certain business enterprises that belong to nobody but Frankie Ferocious. But of course the coppers do not say Frankie Ferocious puts these guys in the sacks, because in the first place Frankie will report them to Headquarters[71] if the coppers say such a thing about him and in the second place putting guys in sacks is strictly a St Louis idea and to have a guy put in a sack properly you have to send to St Louis for experts in this matter.

Now, putting a guy in a sack is not as easy as it sounds, and in fact it takes quite a lot of practice and experience. To put a guy in a sack properly, you first have to put him to sleep, because naturally no guy is going to walk into a sack wide awake unless he is a plumb sucker[72]. Some people claim the best way to put a guy to sleep is to give him a sleeping powder of some kind in a drink, but the real experts just tap the guy on the noggin with a blackjack, which saves the expense of buying the drink.

Anyway, after the guy is asleep, you double him up like a pocket-knife, and tie a cord or a wire around his neck and under his knees. Then you put him in a gunny sack, and leave him some place, and by and by when the guy wakes up and finds himself in the sack, naturally he wants to get out and the first thing he does is to try to straighten out his knees. This pulls the cord around his neck up so tight that after a while the guy is out of breath.

So then when somebody comes along and opens the sack they find the guy dead, and nobody is responsible for this unfortu­nate situation, because after all the guy really commits suicide, because if he does not try to straighten out his knees he may live to a ripe old age, if he recovers from the tap on fhe noggin.

Well, a couple of days later I see by the papers where three Brooklyn citizens are scragged as they are walking peaceably along Clinton Street, the scragging being done by some parties in an automobile who seem to have a machine gun and the papers state that the citizens are friends of Frankie Ferocious, and that it is rumoured the parties with the machine gun are from Harlem.

I judge by this that there is some trouble in Brooklyn, especially as about a week after the citizens are scragged in Clinton Street, another Harlem guy is found done up in sack like a Virginia ham near Prospect Park, and now who is it but Joe the Joker’s brother, Freddy, and I know Joe is going to be greatly displeased by this.

By and by it gets so nobody in Brooklyn will open as much as a sack of potatoes without first сalling in the gendarmes for fear a pair of No. 8 shoes will jump out at them.

Now one night I see Joe the Joker, and this time he is all alone, and I wish to say I am willing to leave him all alone, because something tells me he is hotter than a stove. But he grabs me as I am going past, so naturally I stop to talk to him, and the first thing I say is how sorry I am about his brother.

"Well," Joe the Joker says, "Freddy is always a kind of a sap. Rosa calls him up and asks him to come over to Brooklyn to see her. She wishes to talk to Freddy about getting me to give her a divorce," Joe says, "so she can marry Frankie Ferocious, I suppose. Anyway, "he says. "Freddy always likes Rosa, and thinks maybe he can patch it up between us. So," Joe says, "he winds up in a sack. They get him after he leaves her apartment. I do not claim Rosa will ask him to come over if she has any idea he will be sacked," Joe says, "but," he says, “she is responsible. She is a bad-luck doll."

Then he starts to laugh and at first I am much horrified thinking it is because something about Freddy being sacked strikes his sense of humour, when he says to me like this.

"Say," he says, "I am going to play a wonderful joke on Frankie Ferocious."

"Well, Joe," I say, "you are not asking me for advice, but I am going to give you some free gratis, and for nothing. Do not play any jokes on Frankie Ferocious, as I hear he has no more sense of humour than a nanny goat. In fact,” I say, "I hear he is a tough[73] audience."

"Oh," Joe the Joker says, "he must have some sense of humour somewhere to stand for[74] Rosa. I hear he is daffy about her. In fact, I understand she is the only person in the world he really likes and trusts. But I must play a joke on him. I am going to have myself delivered to Frankie Ferocious in a sack."

Well, of course I have to laugh at this myself, and Joe the Joker laughs with me. Personally, I am laughing just at the idea of anybody having themselves delivered to Frankie Ferocious in a sack, and especially Joe the Joker, but of course I have no idea Joe really means what he says.

"Listen," Joe says, finally. "A guy from St Louis who is afriend of mine is doing most of the sacking for Frankie Fero­cious. His name is Ropes McGonnigle. In fact," Joe says, "he is a very dear old pal[75] of mine, and he has a wonderful sense of humour like me. Ropes McGonnigle has nothing whatever to do with sacking Freddy," Joe says, "and he is very indignant about it since he finds out Freddy is my brother, so he is anxious to help me play a joke on Frankie.

"Only last night," Joe says, "Frankie Ferocious sends for Ropes and fells him he will appreciate it as a special favour if Ropes will bring me to him in a sack. I suppose," Joe says, "that Frankie Ferocious hears from Rosa what Freddy is bound to tell her about my ideas on divorce. I have very strict ideas on divorce," Joe says, "especially where Rosa is concerned. I will see her in what's-this before I ever do her and Frankie Fero­cious such a favour as giving her a divorce.

"Anyway," Joe the Joker says, "Ropes tells me about Frankie Ferocious propositioning him, so I send Ropes back to Frankie Ferocious to tell him he knows I am to be in Brooklyn tomorrow night, and furthermore, Ropes tells Frankie that he will have me in a sack in no time. And so he will," Joe says.

"Well," I say, "personally, I see no percentage in being delivered to Frankie Ferocious in a sack, because as near as I can make out from what I read in the papers, there is no future for a guy in a sack that goes to Frankie Ferocious. What I can­not figure out," I say, "is where the joke on Frankie comes in."

"Why," Joe the Joker says, "the joke is, I will not be asleep in the sack, and my hands will not be tied, and in each of my hands I will have a John Roscoe, so when the sack is delivered to Frankie Ferocious and I pop out blasting away, can you not imagine his astonishment?"

Well, I can imagine this, all right. In fact, when I get to thinking of the look of surprise that is bound to come to Frankie Ferocious's face when Joe the Joker comes out of the sack I have to laugh, and Joe the Joker laughs right along with me.

"Of course," Joe says, "Ropes McGonnigle will be there to start blasting with me, in case Frankie Ferocious happens to have any company."

Then Joe the Joker goes on up the street, leaving me still laughing from thinking of how amazed Frankie Ferocious will be when Joe bounces out of the sack and starts throwing slugs around and about. I do not hear of Joe from that time to this, but I hear the rest of the story from very reliable parties.

It seems that Ropes McGonnigle does not deliver the sack himself, after all, but sends it by an expressman to Frankie Ferocious's home. Frankie Ferocious receives many sacks such as this in his time, because it seems that it is a sort of passion with him to personally view the contents of the sacks and check up on them before they are distributed about the city, and of course Ropes McGonnigle knows about this passion from doing so much sacking for Frankie.

When the expressman takes the sack into Frankie's house, Frankie personally lugs it down into his basement, and there he outs with a big John Roscoe and fires six shots into the sack because it seems Ropes McGonnigle tips him off[76] to Joe the Joker's plan to pop out of the sack and start blasting.

I hear Frankie Ferocious has a very strange expression on his pan and is laughing the only laugh anybody ever hears from him when the gendarmes break in and put the arm on him for murder, because it seems that when Ropes McGonnigle tells Frankie of Joe the Joker's plan, Frankie tells Ropes what he is going to do with his own hands before opening the sack. Natu­rally, Ropes speaks to Joe the Joker of Frankie's idea about filling the sack full of slugs, and Joe's sense of humour comes right out again.

So, bound and gagged, but otherwise as right as rain[77] in the sack that is delivered to Frankie Ferocious, is by no means Joe the Joker, but Rosa.

 

 

Gean Garrique

Nocturnes of the Birds.

These nocturnes of the birds I hear

Who with icy song declare

To one another they are near,

Echoed the refain so clear.

I call it icy Yct it is

Ice that liquefies upon the air

With something of the haste and heat of tear

And more, the aftermark of both

In the last and stainless light

That is as brief, intense, and rare.

At deaths of day we hear them long

Make up their farewells out of song.

The woods ebb with the light they take

That they pour back them, note by note.

 

Lala and la

Now that the first flowers are out,

What shall we ever do?

Rejoice, my dear, rejoice,

And kick up our heels.

 

And go to look at every one

New-come from the bud.

Not yet the tides of spring

Bring blossoms from the wood.

These are the ones that dare.

 

Yes, and welcome everywhere,

Welcome spider threads,

Welcome waked – up wasps,

And worms that the first birds need,

 

Welcome green – eyed love.

The boy is about.

Come now, not one tear.

Hear these violins of air.

“Days”

Daughters of Time, the hypocritic Days,

Muffted and dumb, like barefoot dervishes,

And marching singe in an endless file,

Bring diadems and fagots in their hands.

To each they offer gifts after his will,

Bread, kingdoms, stars, and sky that holds them all.

I, in my pleached gardem, wathed the pomp,

Forgot my morning wishes, hastily

Took a few herbs and apples, and the Day

Turned and departed silent. I, too late,

Under her solemm fillet saw the scorn.

 

 

When I was one-and-twenty

I heard a wise man say,

“Give crowns and pounds and guineas

But not your heart away;

Give pearls away and rubies

But keep your fancy free.”

But I was one-and-twenty,

No use to talk to me.

 

When I was one-and-twenty

I heard him say again,

“The heart out of the bosom

Was never given in vain;

‘Tis paid with sighs a plenty

And sold for endless rue.”

And I am two-and-twenty,

And oh, ‘tis true, ‘tis true.

 

 

Tiger! Tiger! burning bright,

In the forests of the night,

What immortal hand or eye

Cpuld frame thy fearful symmetry?

 

I’m nobody! Who are you?

Are you nobody, too?

Then there’s a pair of us – don’t tell!

They’d banish us, you know.

 

How dreary to be somebody!

How public, like a frog

To tell your name the livelong day

To an admiring bog!

 

The way a crow

Shook down on me

The dust of snow

From a hemlock tree

 

Has given my heart

A change of mood

And saved some part

Of a day I had rued.

 

 

Литература:

1. Арнольд И.В. Семантика современного агнлийского языка. Л., 1981.

2. Чуковский К.Высокое искусство.

3. Флорин С. Муки творческие. М., 1983.

4. Гинзбург Л. Разбилось лишь сердце мое. «Новый мир», 1981, № 8.

5. Лилова А. Введение в общую теорию перевода М.: 1985.

6. Попович А. Проблемы художественного перевода. М.: 1980.

7. Комиссаров В.Н. Слово о переводе. М., 1973.

8. Комиссаров В.Н. Общая теория перевода. М.: 1999.

9. Комиссаров В.Н. Современное переводоведение. М.: 2000.

10. История русской переводной художественной литературы. СПб, 1995.

11. Финкель А. 66-ой сонет в русских переводах // Мастерство перевода. М.: 1968.

12. Брандес М.П. Стиль и перевод. М., 1988.

13. Латышев Л.К. Перевод: проблемы теории, практики и методики преподавания. М., 1988.

14. Рецкер Я.И. Теория перевода и переводческая практика. М., 1974.

15. Бархударов Л.С. Язык и перевод. М., 1975.

16. Вопросы теории перевода в зарубежной лингвистике. М., 1978.

17. Гачечиладзе Г.Р. Введение в теорию художественного перевода. Тбилиси, 1970.

18. Копанев П.И. Вопросы истории и теории художественного перевода. Минск 1972.

19. Федоров А.В. Основы общей теории перевода. М., 1983.

20. Галь Н. Слово живое и мертвое. М., 2001.

 

СОДЕРЖАНИЕ

Стр.

1. Введение………………………………………………………….. 2

2. Некоторые теоретические положения………………………….. 3.

3. Семинарские занятия…………………………………………….. 10

4. №1. Можно ли перевести подтекст?……………………………. 10

5. №2. Перевод поэзии……………………………………………… 16

6. №3. Русский Бернс……………………………………………….. 19

7. №4. Шекспир в русских переводах……………………………… 37

8. №5. Байрон в русских переводах………………………………… 43

9. №6. Винни-Пух говорит по-русски……………………………… 56

10. 7-8 Русские переводы «Алисы в стране чудес»…………….. 68

11. Практические занятия………………………………………… 100

12. Тексты, в которых преобладает информация первого

рода (общественно-политические и научные…………..…… 100

13. Тексты с преобладающей информацией второго рода…...… 110

14. Литература…………………………………………………….. 147

15. Содержание……………………………………………………. 148

 

 


[1] Il piove - идет дождь (итал.)

[2] да, да, синьора, плохая погода (итал.)

[3] Вы что-то потеряли синьора? (итал.)

[4] Войдите (итал.)

[5] хозяин (итал.)

[6] thro = thrugh

[7] a= oll

[8] Gin = if

[9] ken =know

[10] Luve=love

[11] gang = go

[12] wi = with

[13] Save – при условии

[14] gorse-bush –утесник обыкновенный

[15] полная надпись: Trespassers will be prosecuted.

[16] who left their indelible mark – которые оставили незабываемые меты

[17] Hindu - индуистский

[18] scru­tiny – исследование, изучение

[19] fertilisation – зд. деление

[20] oversimplification – чрезмерное упрощение

[21]Concord airliner – самолет Конкорд

[22] each a succession – в соответствии с последовательностью

[23] resultinrg – зд. последующий

[24] occurrence – зд. распределение

[25] sentence junctures – соединение отдельных предложений

[26] linguistic body – лингвистическое целое

[27] Discourse analysis yields considerable information – анализ текста дает значительную информацию

[28] just as much right – по справедливости

[29] we are safe to infer – мы вправе сделать вывод

[30] Itis the differences which interest us – ведь нас интересуют именно различия

[31] scholars – зд. теоретике

[32] precept - заповедь

[33] savours a little of quibbling – имеет некий привкус двусмысленности

[34] what we hold to be the best class – который мы считаем лучшим

[35] to keep going – укреплять здоровье

[36] tonic – укрепляющее средство

[37] powder - порошок

[38] to work under smb. – работать под чьим-либо руководством

[39] обратите внимание на говорящие имена и фамилии персонажей

[40] impostor - мошенник

[41] Книга Джин Уэбстер – «Роман в письмах», которые посылает воспитанница сиротского приюта 18-ти летняя Джеруша Эббот члену опекунского совета этого приюта, давшему деньги на ее обучение в колледже.

[42] daddy-long- legs – паук коси-коса

[43] название сиротского приюта

[44] English Literature – зд. Занятия по английской литературе

[45] freshman - первокурсница

[46] wanted on voyage – ручная кладь

[47] stowaway – безбилетный пассажир, «заяц»

[48] caught the stern eye – заметил суровый взгляд

[49] op in = hop in

[50] ear = hear

[51] tackle - полузащитник

[52] lenient - снисходительный

[53] The one great anxiety was lest he should die of old age – беспокоило только, не умрет ли он от старости

 

[54] Diana – римская богиня, покровительствующая охоте

[55] городок в графстве Суррей

[56] terminus - вокзал

[57] to crowd a Wanderjahr into a few minutes – совершить длительное путешествие за несколько минут

[58] railway-rug - плед

[59] a method of putting off people – способ, как избавляться от людей

[60] Stop- зд. точка

[61] fighting down his annoyance – борясь с раздражением

[62] здесь и далее настоящее время используется для актуализации информации

[63] to carry on - беситься

[64] are willing to lay you odds – готовы держать пари

[65] to take the matter up - разобраться

[66] he takes his time saying it – он не уставал повторять об этом

[67] to take the wind on - бросить

[68] to holler copper on – зд. настучать

[69] to move himself in on the mint – заработать денег

[70] to mob up with - тусоваться

[71] Headquarters – главное полицейское управление

[72] a plumb sucker – болван, простофиля

[73] tough – зд. неблагодарный

[74] to stand for - терпеть

[75] pal - друг

[76] to tip off - выдать

[77] as right as rain – целая и невредимая




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