酷兔英语



PLAIN TALES FROM THE HILLS

By Rudyard Kipling

CONTENTS

LESPETH

THREE AND AN EXTRA

THROWN AWAY

MISS YOUGHAL'S SAIS

YOKED WITH AN UNBELIEVER

FALSE DAWN

THE RESCUE OF PLUFFLES

CUPID'S ARROWS

HIS CHANCE IN LIFE

WATCHES OF THE NIGHT

THE OTHER MAN

CONSEQUENCES

THE CONVERSION OF AURELIAN MCGOGGIN

A GERM DESTROYER

KIDNAPPED

THE ARREST OF LIEUTENANT GOLIGHTLY

THE HOUSE OF SUDDHOO

HIS WEDDED WIFE

THE BROKEN LINK HANDICAPPED.

BEYOND THE PALE

IN ERROR

A BANK FRAUD

TOD'S AMENDMENT

IN THE PRIDE OF HIS YOUTH

PIG

THE ROUT OF THE WHITE HUSSARS

THE BRONCKHORST DIVORCE-CASE

VENUS ANNODOMINI

THE BISARA OF POORER

THE GATE OF A HUNDRED SORROWS

THE STORY OF MUHAMMID DIN

ON THE STRENGTH OF A LIKENESS

WRESSLEY OF THE FOREIGN OFFICE

BY WORD OF MOUTH

TO BE HELD FOR REFERENCE

PLAIN TALES FROM THE HILLS

LISPETH.

Look, you have cast out Love! What Gods are these

You bid me please?

The Three in One, the One in Three? Not so!

To my own Gods I go.

It may be they shall give me greater ease

Than your cold Christ and tangled Trinities.

The Convert.

She was the daughter of Sonoo, a Hill-man, and Jadeh his wife. One

year their maize failed, and two bears spent the night in their only

poppy-field just above the Sutlej Valley on the Kotgarth side; so, next

season, they turned Christian, and brought their baby to the Mission

to be baptized. The Kotgarth Chaplain christened her Elizabeth, and

"Lispeth" is the Hill or pahari pronunciation.

Later, cholera came into the Kotgarth Valley and carried off Sonoo and

Jadeh, and Lispeth became half-servant, half-companion to the wife of

the then Chaplain of Kotgarth. This was after the reign of the Moravian

missionaries, but before Kotgarth had quite forgotten her title of

"Mistress of the Northern Hills."

Whether Christianity improved Lispeth, or whether the gods of her own

people would have done as much for her under any circumstances, I do not

know; but she grew very lovely. When a Hill girl grows lovely, she is

worth traveling fifty miles over bad ground to look upon. Lispeth had a

Greek face--one of those faces people paint so often, and see so seldom.

She was of a pale, ivory color and, for her race, extremely tall. Also,

she possessed eyes that were wonderful; and, had she not been dressed in

the abominable print-cloths affected by Missions, you would, meeting her

on the hill-side unexpectedly, have thought her the original Diana of

the Romans going out to slay.

Lispeth took to Christianity readily, and did not abandon it when she

reached womanhood, as do some Hill girls. Her own people hated her

because she had, they said, become a memsahib and washed herself daily;

and the Chaplain's wife did not know what to do with her. Somehow,

one cannot ask a stately goddess, five foot ten in her shoes, to clean

plates and dishes. So she played with the Chaplain's children and took

classes in the Sunday School, and read all the books in the house, and

grew more and more beautiful, like the Princesses in fairy tales. The

Chaplain's wife said that the girl ought to take service in Simla as a

nurse or something "genteel." But Lispeth did not want to take service.

She was very happy where she was.

When travellers--there were not many in those years--came to Kotgarth,

Lispeth used to lock herself into her own room for fear they might take

her away to Simla, or somewhere out into the unknown world.

One day, a few months after she was seventeen years old, Lispeth went

out for a walk. She did not walk in the manner of English ladies--a mile

and a half out, and a ride back again. She covered between twenty and

thirty miles in her little constitutionals, all about and about, between

Kotgarth and Narkunda. This time she came back at full dusk, stepping

down the breakneck descent into Kotgarth with something heavy in her

arms. The Chaplain's wife was dozing in the drawing-room when Lispeth

came in breathing hard and very exhausted with her burden. Lispeth put

it down on the sofa, and said simply:

"This is my husband. I found him on the Bagi Road. He has hurt himself.

We will nurse him, and when he is well, your husband shall marry him to

me."

This was the first mention Lispeth had ever made of her matrimonial

views, and the Chaplain's wife shrieked with horror. However, the man on

the sofa needed attention first. He was a young Englishman, and his head

had been cut to the bone by something jagged. Lispeth said she had found

him down the khud, so she had brought him in. He was breathing queerly

and was unconscious.

He was put to bed and tended by the Chaplain, who knew something of

medicine; and Lispeth waited outside the door in case she could be

useful. She explained to the Chaplain that this was the man she meant

to marry; and the Chaplain and his wife lectured her severely on the

impropriety of her conduct. Lispeth listened quietly, and repeated her

first proposition. It takes a great deal of Christianity to wipe out

uncivilized Eastern instincts, such as falling in love at first sight.

Lispeth, having found the man she worshipped, did not see why she should

keep silent as to her choice. She had no intention of being sent away,

either. She was going to nurse that Englishman until he was well enough

to marry her. This was her little programme.

After a fortnight of slight fever and inflammation, the Englishman

recovered coherence and thanked the Chaplain and his wife, and

Lispeth--especially Lispeth--for their kindness. He was a traveller in

the East, he said--they never talked about "globe-trotters" in those

days, when the P. & O. fleet was young and small--and had come from

Dehra Dun to hunt for plants and butterflies among the Simla hills. No

one at Simla, therefore, knew anything about him. He fancied he must

have fallen over the cliff while stalking a fern on a rotten tree-trunk,

and that his coolies must have stolen his baggage and fled. He thought

he would go back to Simla when he was a little stronger. He desired no

more mountaineering.

He made small haste to go away, and recovered his strength slowly.

Lispeth objected to being advised either by the Chaplain or his wife;

so the latter spoke to the Englishman, and told him how matters stood in

Lispeth's heart. He laughed a good deal, and said it was very pretty and

romantic, a perfect idyl of the Himalayas; but, as he was engaged to a

girl at Home, he fancied that nothing would happen. Certainly he would

behave with discretion. He did that. Still he found it very pleasant to

talk to Lispeth, and walk with Lispeth, and say nice things to her, and

call her pet names while he was getting strong enough to go away. It

meant nothing at all to him, and everything in the world to Lispeth. She

was very happy while the fortnight lasted, because she had found a man

to love.

Being a savage by birth, she took no trouble to hide her feelings, and

the Englishman was amused. When he went away, Lispeth walked with him,

up the Hill as far as Narkunda, very troubled and very miserable. The

Chaplain's wife, being a good Christian and disliking anything in

the shape of fuss or scandal--Lispeth was beyond her management

entirely--had told the Englishman to tell Lispeth that he was coming

back to marry her. "She is but a child, you know, and, I fear, at heart

a heathen," said the Chaplain's wife. So all the twelve miles up the

hill the Englishman, with his arm around Lispeth's waist, was assuring

the girl that he would come back and marry her; and Lispeth made him

promise over and over again. She wept on the Narkunda Ridge till he had

passed out of sight along the Muttiani path.

Then she dried her tears and went in to Kotgarth again, and said to the

Chaplain's wife: "He will come back and marry me. He has gone to his

own people to tell them so." And the Chaplain's wife soothed Lispeth

and said: "He will come back." At the end of two months, Lispeth grew

impatient, and was told that the Englishman had gone over the seas

to England. She knew where England was, because she had read little

geography primers; but, of course, she had no conception of the nature

of the sea, being a Hill girl. There was an old puzzle-map of the World

in the House. Lispeth had played with it when she was a child. She

unearthed it again, and put it together of evenings, and cried to

herself, and tried to imagine where her Englishman was. As she had no

ideas of distance or steamboats, her notions were somewhat erroneous. It

would not have made the least difference had she been perfectly correct;

for the Englishman had no intention of coming back to marry a Hill girl.

He forgot all about her by the time he was butterfly-hunting in Assam.

He wrote a book on the East afterwards. Lispeth's name did not appear.

At the end of three months, Lispeth made daily pilgrimage to Narkunda

to see if her Englishman was coming along the road. It gave her comfort,

and the Chaplain's wife, finding her happier, thought that she was

getting over her "barbarous and most indelicate folly." A little later

the walks ceased to help Lispeth and her temper grew very bad. The

Chaplain's wife thought this a profitable time to let her know the real

state of affairs--that the Englishman had only promised his love to keep

her quiet--that he had never meant anything, and that it was "wrong and

improper" of Lispeth to think of marriage with an Englishman, who was of

a superior clay, besides being promised in marriage to a girl of his own

people. Lispeth said that all this was clearly impossible, because he

had said he loved her, and the Chaplain's wife had, with her own lips,

asserted that the Englishman was coming back.

"How can what he and you said be untrue?" asked Lispeth.

"We said it as an excuse to keep you quiet, child," said the Chaplain's

wife.

"Then you have lied to me," said Lispeth, "you and he?"

The Chaplain's wife bowed her head, and said nothing. Lispeth was

silent, too for a little time; then she went out down the valley, and

returned in the dress of a Hill girl--infamously dirty, but without the

nose and ear rings. She had her hair braided into the long pig-tail,

helped out with black thread, that Hill women wear.

"I am going back to my own people," said she. "You have killed Lispeth.

There is only left old Jadeh's daughter--the daughter of a pahari and

the servant of Tarka Devi. You are all liars, you English."

By the time that the Chaplain's wife had recovered from the shock of the

announcement that Lispeth had 'verted to her mother's gods, the girl had

gone; and she never came back.

She took to her own unclean people savagely, as if to make up the

arrears of the life she had stepped out of; and, in a little time, she

married a wood-cutter who beat her, after the manner of paharis, and her

beauty faded soon.

"There is no law whereby you can account for the vagaries of the

heathen," said the Chaplain's wife, "and I believe that Lispeth was

always at heart an infidel." Seeing she had been taken into the Church

of England at the mature age of five weeks, this statement does not do

credit to the Chaplain's wife.

Lispeth was a very old woman when she died. She always had a perfect

command of English, and when she was sufficiently drunk, could sometimes

be induced to tell the story of her first love-affair.

It was hard then to realize that the bleared, wrinkled creature, so like

a wisp of charred rag, could ever have been "Lispeth of the Kotgarth

Mission."

THREE AND--AN EXTRA.

"When halter and heel ropes are slipped, do not give chase with

sticks but with gram."

Punjabi Proverb.

After marriage arrives a reaction, sometimes a big, sometimes a little

one; but it comes sooner or later, and must be tided over by both

parties if they desire the rest of their lives to go with the current.

In the case of the Cusack-Bremmils this reaction did not set in till the

third year after the wedding. Bremmil was hard to hold at the best

of times; but he was a beautiful husband until the baby died and Mrs.

Bremmil wore black, and grew thin, and mourned as if the bottom of the

universe had fallen out. Perhaps Bremmil ought to have comforted her. He

tried to do so, I think; but the more he comforted the more Mrs. Bremmil

grieved, and, consequently, the more uncomfortable Bremmil grew. The

fact was that they both needed a tonic. And they got it. Mrs. Bremmil

can afford to laugh now, but it was no laughing matter to her at the

time.

You see, Mrs. Hauksbee appeared on the horizon; and where she existed

was fair chance of trouble. At Simla her bye-name was the "Stormy

Petrel." She had won that title five times to my own certain knowledge.

She was a little, brown, thin, almost skinny, woman, with big, rolling,

violet-blue eyes, and the sweetest manners in the world. You had only to

mention her name at afternoon teas for every woman in the room to rise

up, and call her--well--NOT blessed. She was clever, witty, brilliant,

and sparkling beyond most of her kind; but possessed of many devils of

malice and mischievousness. She could be nice, though, even to her own

sex. But that is another story.

Bremmil went off at score after the baby's death and the general

discomfort that followed, and Mrs. Hauksbee annexed him. She took no

pleasure in hiding her captives. She annexed him publicly, and saw that

the public saw it. He rode with her, and walked with her, and talked

with her, and picnicked with her, and tiffined at Peliti's with her,

till people put up their eyebrows and said: "Shocking!" Mrs. Bremmil

stayed at home turning over the dead baby's frocks and crying into the

empty cradle. She did not care to do anything else. But some eight dear,

affectionate lady-friends explained the situation at length to her in

case she should miss the cream of it. Mrs. Bremmil listened quietly,

and thanked them for their good offices. She was not as clever as Mrs.

Hauksbee, but she was no fool. She kept her own counsel, and did not

speak to Bremmil of what she had heard. This is worth remembering.

Speaking to, or crying over, a husband never did any good yet.

When Bremmil was at home, which was not often, he was more affectionate

than usual; and that showed his hand. The affection was forced partly to

soothe his own conscience and partly to soothe Mrs. Bremmil. It failed


生词表:
  • rescue [´reskju:] 移动到这儿单词发声  vt.&n.救援;挽救   (初中英语单词)
  • arrest [ə´rest] 移动到这儿单词发声  vt.逮捕 n.逮捕;停止   (初中英语单词)
  • lieutenant [lef´tenənt] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.陆军中尉;代理;副手   (初中英语单词)
  • christ [kraist] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.基督 int.天啊!   (初中英语单词)
  • valley [´væli] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.谷;河谷;流域   (初中英语单词)
  • extremely [ik´stri:mli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.极端地;非常地   (初中英语单词)
  • readily [´redili] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.乐意地;容易地   (初中英语单词)
  • abandon [ə´bændən] 移动到这儿单词发声  vt.抛弃,放弃,离弃   (初中英语单词)
  • goddess [´gɔdis] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.女神   (初中英语单词)
  • horror [´hɔrə] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.恐怖;战栗   (初中英语单词)
  • intention [in´tenʃən] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.意图;打算;意义   (初中英语单词)
  • therefore [´ðeəfɔ:] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.&conj.因此;所以   (初中英语单词)
  • stolen [´stəulən] 移动到这儿单词发声  steal 的过去分词   (初中英语单词)
  • savage [´sævidʒ] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.野蛮的 n.蛮人   (初中英语单词)
  • miserable [´mizərəbəl] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.悲惨的;可怜的   (初中英语单词)
  • temper [´tempə] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.韧度 v.锻炼;调和   (初中英语单词)
  • account [ə´kaunt] 移动到这儿单词发声  vi.说明 vt.认为 n.帐目   (初中英语单词)
  • sufficiently [sə´fiʃəntli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.充分地,足够地   (初中英语单词)
  • reaction [ri´ækʃən] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.反应(力)   (初中英语单词)
  • wedding [´wediŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.婚礼,结婚   (初中英语单词)
  • horizon [hə´raizən] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.地平线;范围;视野   (初中英语单词)
  • cradle [´kreidl] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.摇篮;发源地   (初中英语单词)
  • counsel [´kaunsəl] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.商议;劝告;律师   (初中英语单词)
  • affection [ə´fekʃən] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.友爱;慈爱   (初中英语单词)
  • partly [´pɑ:tli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.部分地;不完全地   (初中英语单词)
  • conscience [´kɔnʃəns] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.良心;道德心   (初中英语单词)
  • christianity [,kristi´æniti] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.基督教;基督精神   (高中英语单词)
  • stately [´steitli] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.庄严的,雄伟的   (高中英语单词)
  • descent [di´sent] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.出身,家世   (高中英语单词)
  • severely [si´viəli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.剧烈地;严格地   (高中英语单词)
  • repeated [ri´pi:tid] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.反复的;重复的   (高中英语单词)
  • proposition [,prɔpə´ziʃən] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.提议;主张;陈述   (高中英语单词)
  • fortnight [´fɔ:tnait] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.两星期   (高中英语单词)
  • rotten [´rɔtn] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.腐烂的;腐朽的   (高中英语单词)
  • baggage [´bægidʒ] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.行李   (高中英语单词)
  • conception [kən´sepʃən] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.构思;概念;怀孕   (高中英语单词)
  • perfectly [´pə:fiktli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.理想地;完美地   (高中英语单词)
  • finding [´faindiŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.发现物;判断;结果   (高中英语单词)
  • profitable [´prɔfitəbəl] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.有益的;有用的   (高中英语单词)
  • seeing [si:iŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  see的现在分词 n.视觉   (高中英语单词)
  • mature [mə´tjuə] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.成熟的 v.(使)成熟   (高中英语单词)
  • consequently [´kɔnsikwəntli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.因此,所以   (高中英语单词)
  • uncomfortable [ʌn´kʌmftəbəl] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.不舒服的,不自在的   (高中英语单词)
  • soothe [su:ð] 移动到这儿单词发声  vt.安慰;镇定;减轻   (高中英语单词)
  • conversion [kən´və:ʃən] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.转化;变换;皈依   (英语四级单词)
  • wedded [´wedid] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.(已)结婚的;献身的   (英语四级单词)
  • chaplain [´tʃæplin] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.本堂神父;专职教士   (英语四级单词)
  • abominable [ə´bɔminəbəl] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.可憎的;极坏的   (英语四级单词)
  • unexpectedly [´ʌniks´pektidli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.意外地;突然地   (英语四级单词)
  • discretion [di´skreʃən] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.谨慎;判断(力)   (英语四级单词)
  • pilgrimage [´pilgrimidʒ] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.朝圣;远游;人生历程   (英语四级单词)
  • savagely [´sævidʒli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.野蛮地;原始地   (英语四级单词)
  • whereby [weə´bai] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.凭什么;靠那个   (英语四级单词)
  • blessed [´blesid] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.享福的;神圣的   (英语四级单词)
  • cholera [´kɔlərə] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.霍乱   (英语六级单词)
  • affected [ə´fektid] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.做作的;假装的   (英语六级单词)
  • erroneous [i´rəuniəs] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.错误的   (英语六级单词)
  • unclean [ʌn´kli:n] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.不清洁的;讨厌的   (英语六级单词)
  • halter [´hɔ:ltə] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.缰绳,绞索   (英语六级单词)
  • publicly [´pʌblikli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.公然;公众所有地   (英语六级单词)

  • 上传人 欢乐鱼 分享于 2017-06-26 18:35:04
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