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紅樓夢(英文版) Chapter 31

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Pao-ch'ai avails herself of the excuse afforded her by a fan to administer a couple of raps. While Ch'un Ling traces, in a absent frame of mind, the outlines of the character Ch'iang, a looker-on appears on the scene.

Lin Tai-yue herself, for we will now resume our narrative, was also, ever since her tiff with Pao-yue, full of self-condemnation, yet as she did not see why she should run after him, she continued, day and night, as despondent as she would have been had she lost some thing or other belonging to her.

Tzu Chuean surmised her sentiments. "As regards what happened the other day," she advised her, "you were, after all, Miss, a little too hasty; for if others don't understand that temperament of Pao-yue's, have you and I, surely, also no idea about it? Besides, haven't there been already one or two rows on account of that very jade?"

"Ts'ui!" exclaimed Tai-yue. "Have you come, on behalf of others, to find fault with me? But how ever was I hasty?"

"Why did you," smiled Tzu Chuean, "take the scissors and cut that tassel when there was no good reason for it? So isn't Pao-yue less to blame than yourself, Miss? I've always found his behaviour towards you, Miss, without a fault. It's all that touchy disposition of yours, which makes you so often perverse, that induces him to act as he does."

Lin Tai-yue had every wish to make some suitable reply, when she heard some one calling at the door. Tzu Chuean discerned the tone of voice. "This sounds like Pao-yue's voice," she smiled. "I expect he's come to make his apologies."

"I won't have any one open the door," Tai-yue cried at these words.

"Here you are in the wrong again, Miss," Tzu Chuean observed. "How will it ever do to let him get a sunstroke and come to some harm on a day like this, and under such a scorching sun?"

Saying this, she speedily walked out and opened the door. It was indeed Pao-yue. While ushering him in, she gave him a smile. "I imagined," she said, "that you would never again put your foot inside our door, Master Secundus. But here you are once more and quite unexpectedly!"

"You have by dint of talking," Pao-yue laughed, "made much ado of nothing; and why shouldn't I come, when there's no reason for me to keep away? Were I even to die, my spirit too will come a hundred times a day! But is cousin quite well?"

"She is," replied Tzu Chuean, "physically all right; but, mentally, her resentment is not quite over."

"I understand," continued Pao-yue with a smile. "But resentment, for what?"

With this inquiry, he wended his steps inside the apartment. He then caught sight of Lin Tai-yue reclining on the bed in the act of crying. Tai-yue had not in fact shed a tear, but hearing Pao-yue break in upon her, she could not help feeling upset. She found it impossible therefore to prevent her tears from rolling down her cheeks.

Pao-yue assumed a smiling expression and drew near the bed. "Cousin, are you quite well again?" he inquired.

Tai-yue simply went on drying her tears, and made no reply of any kind.

Pao-yue approached the bed, and sat on the edge of it. "I know," he smiled, "that you're not vexed with me. But had I not come, third parties would have been allowed to notice my absence, and it would have appeared to them as if we had had another quarrel. And had I to wait until they came to reconcile us, would we not by that time become perfect strangers? It would be better, supposing you wish to beat me or blow me up, that you should please yourself and do so now; but whatever you do, don't give me the cold shoulder!"

Continuing, he proceeded to call her "my dear cousin" for several tens of times.

Tai-yue had resolved not to pay any more heed to Pao-yue. When she, however, now heard Pao-yue urge: "don't let us allow others to know anything about our having had a quarrel, as it will look as if we had become thorough strangers," it once more became evident to her, from this single remark, that she was really dearer and nearer to him than any of the other girls, so she could not refrain from saying sobbingly: "You needn't have come to chaff me! I couldn't presume henceforward to be on friendly terms with you, Master Secundus! You should treat me as if I were gone!"

At these words, Pao-yue gave way to laughter. "Where are you off to?" he inquired.

"I'm going back home," answered Tai-yue.

"I'll go along with you then," smiled Pao-yue.

"But if I die?" asked Tai-yue.

"Well, if you die," rejoined Pao-yue, "I'll become a bonze."

the moment Tai-yue caught this reply, she hung down her head. "You must, I presume, be bent upon dying?" she cried. "But what stuff and nonsense is this you're talking? You've got so many beloved elder and younger cousins in your family, and how many bodies will you have to go and become bonzes, when by and bye they all pass away! But to-morrow I'll tell them about this to judge for themselves what your motives are!"

Pao-yue was himself aware of the fact that this rejoinder had been recklessly spoken, and he was seized with reGREt. His face immediately became suffused with blushes. He lowered his head and had not the courage to utter one word more. Fortunately, however, there was no one present in the room.

重點單詞   查看全部解釋    
depression [di'preʃən]


n. 沮喪,蕭條

effrontery [ef'rʌntəri]


n. 厚顏無恥

control [kən'trəul]


n. 克制,控制,管制,操作裝置
vt. 控制

despicable ['despikəbl]


adj. 可鄙的,卑劣的

affection [ə'fekʃən]


n. 慈愛,喜愛,感情,影響

awkward ['ɔ:kwəd]


adj. 笨拙的,尷尬的,(設計)別扭的

consciousness ['kɔnʃəsnis]


n. 意識,知覺,自覺,覺悟

tread [tred]


n. 踏,踏步板,踏面,胎面花紋,鞋底 v. 踏,行走,

shade [ʃeid]


n. 陰影,遮蔽,遮光物,(色彩的)濃淡

contrary ['kɔntrəri]


adj. 相反的,截然不同的
adv. 相反(


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