酷兔英语



A WOMAN-HATER.

By Charles Reade

Italics are indicated by the

underscore character. Accent marks are indicated by a single quote

(') after the vowel for acute accents and before the vowel for grave

accents. Other accent marks are ignored.

CHAPTER I.

"THE Golden Star," Homburg, was a humble hotel, not used by gay gamblers,

but by modest travelers.

At two o'clock, one fine day in June, there were two strangers in the

_salle a' manger,_ seated at small tables a long way apart, and wholly

absorbed in their own business.

One was a lady about twenty-four years old, who, in the present repose of

her features, looked comely, sedate, and womanly, but not the remarkable

person she really was. Her forehead high and white, but a little broader

than sculptors affect; her long hair, coiled tight, in a great many

smooth snakes, upon her snowy nape, was almost flaxen, yet her eyebrows

and long lashes not pale but a reddish brown; her gray eyes large and

profound; her mouth rather large, beautifully shaped, amiable, and

expressive, but full of resolution; her chin a little broad; her neck and

hands admirably white and polished. She was an Anglo-Dane--her father

English.

If you ask me what she was doing, why--hunting; and had been, for some

days, in all the inns of Homburg. She had the visitors' book, and was

going through the names of the whole year, and studying each to see

whether it looked real or assumed. Interspersed were flippant comments,

and verses adapted to draw a smile of amusement or contempt; but this

hunter passed them all over as nullities: the steady pose of her head,

the glint of her deep eye, and the set of her fine lips showed a soul not

to be diverted from its object.

The traveler at her back had a map of the district and blank telegrams,

one of which he filled in every now and then, and scribbled a hasty

letter to the same address. He was a sharp-faced middle-aged man of

business; Joseph Ashmead, operatic and theatrical agent--at his wits'

end; a femalesinger at the Homburg Opera had fallen really ill; he was

commissioned to replace her, and had only thirty hours to do it in. So he

was hunting a singer. What the lady was hunting can never be known,

unless she should choose to reveal it.

Karl, the waiter, felt bound to rouse these abstracted guests, and

stimulate their appetites. He affected, therefore, to look on them as

people who had not yet breakfasted, and tripped up to Mr. Ashmead with a

bill of fare, rather scanty.

The busiest Englishman can eat, and Ashmead had no objection to snatch a

mouthful; he gave his order in German with an English accent. But the

lady, when appealed to, said softly, in pure German, "I will wait for the

_table-d'hote."_

"The _table-d'hote!_ It wants four hours to that."

The lady looked Karl full in the face, and said, slowly, and very

distinctly, "Then, I--will--wait--four--hours."

These simple words, articulated firmly, and in a contralto voice of

singular volume and sweetness, sent Karl skipping; but their effect on

Mr. Ashmead was more remarkable. He started up from his chair with an

exclamation, and bent his eyes eagerly on the melodious speaker. He could

only see her back hair and her figure; but, apparently, this quick-eared

gentleman had also quick eyes, for he said aloud, in English, "Her hair,

too--it must be;" and he came hurriedly toward her. She caught a word or

two, and turned and saw him. "Ah!" said she, and rose; but the points of

her fingers still rested on the book.

"It is!" cried Ashmead. "It is!"

"Yes, Mr. Ashmead," said the lady, coloring a little, but in pure

English, and with a composure not easily disturbed; "it is Ina Klosking."

"What a pleasure," cried Ashmead; and what a surprise! Ah, madam, I never

hoped to see you again. When I heard you had left the Munich Opera so

sudden, I said, 'There goes one more bright star quenched forever.' And

you to desert us--you, the risingest singer in Germany!"

"Mr. Ashmead!"

"You can't deny it. You know you were."

The lady, thus made her own judge, seemed to reflect a moment, and said,

"I was a well-grounded musician, thanks to my parents; I was a very

hard-working singer; and I had the advantage of being supported, in my

early career, by a gentleman of judgment and spirit, who was a manager at

first, and brought me forward, afterward a popular agent, and talked

managers into a good opinion of me."

"Ah, madam," said Ashmead, tenderly, "it is a great pleasure to hear this

from you, and spoken with that mellow voice which would charm a

rattlesnake; but what would my zeal and devotion have availed if you had

not been a born singer?"

"Why--yes," said Ina, thoughtfully; "I was a singer." But she seemed to

say this not as a thing to be proud of, but only because it happened to

be true; and, indeed, it was a peculiarity of this woman that she

appeared nearly always to think--if but for half a moment--before she

spoke, and to say things, whether about herself or others, only because

they were the truth. The reader who shall condescend to bear this in mind

will possess some little clew to the color and effect of her words as

spoken. Often, where they seem simple and commonplace--on paper, they

were weighty by their extraordinary air of truthfulness as well as by the

deep music of her mellow, bell-like voice.

"Oh, you do admit that," said Mr. Ashmead, with a chuckle; "then why jump

off the ladder so near the top? Oh, of course I know--the old story--but

you might give twenty-two hours to love, and still spare a couple to

music."

"That seems a reasonable division," said Ina, naively. "But"

(apologetically) "he was jealous."

"Jealous!--more shame for him. I'm sure no lady in public life was ever

more discreet."

"No, no; he was only jealous of the public."

"And what had the poor public done?"

"Absorbed me, he said."

"Why, he could take you to the opera, and take you home from the opera,

and, during the opera, he could make one of the public, and applaud you

as loud as the best."

"Yes, but rehearsals!--and--embracing the tenor."

"Well, but only on the stage?"

"Oh, Mr. Ashmead, where else does one embrace the tenor?"

"And was that a grievance? Why, I'd embrace fifty tenors--if I was paid

proportionable."

"Yes; but he said I embraced one poor stick, with a fervor--an

_abandon_--Well, I dare say I did; for, if they had put a gate-post in

the middle of the stage, and it was in my part to embrace the thing, I

should have done it honestly, for love of my art, and not of a post. The

next time I had to embrace the poor stick it was all I could do not to

pinch him savagely."

"And turn him to a counter-tenor--make him squeak."

Ina Klosking smiled for the first time. Ashmead, too, chuckled at his own

wit, but turned suddenly grave the next moment, and moralized. He

pronounced it desirable, for the interests of mankind, that a great and

rising singer should not love out of the business; outsiders were

wrong-headed and absurd, and did not understand the true artist. However,

having discoursed for some time in this strain, he began to fear it might

be unpalatable to her; so he stopped abruptly, and said, "But there--what

is done is done. We must make the best of it; and you mustn't think I

meant to run _him_ down. He loves you, in his way. He must be a noble

fellow, or he never could have won such a heart as yours. He won't be

jealous of an old fellow like me, though I love you, too, in my humdrum

way, and always did. You must do me the honor to present me to him at

once."

Ina stared at him, but said nothing.

"Oh," continued Ashmead, "I shall be busy till evening; but I will ask

him and you to dine with me at the Kursaal, and then adjourn to the Royal

Box. You are a queen of song, and that is where you and he shall sit, and

nowhere else."

Ina Klosking was changing color all this time, and cast a grateful but

troubled look on him. "My kind, old faithful friend!" said she, then

shook her head. "No, we are not to dine with you; nor sit together at the

opera, in Homburg."

Ashmead looked a little chagrined. "So be it," he said dryly. "But at

least introduce me to him. I'll try and overcome his prejudices."

"It is not even in my power to do that."

"Oh, I see. I'm not good enough for him," said Ashmead, bitterly.

"You do yourself injustice, and him too," said Ina, courteously.

"Well, then?"

"My friend," said she, deprecatingly, "he is not here."

"Not here? That is odd. Well, then, you will be dull till he comes back.

Come without him; at all events, to the opera."

She turned her tortured eyes away. "I have not the heart."

This made Ashmead look at her more attentively. "Why, what is the

matter?" said he. "You are in trouble. I declare you are trembling, and

your eyes are filling. My poor lady--in Heaven's name, what is the

matter?"

"Hush!" said Ina; "not so loud." Then she looked him in the face a little

while, blushed, hesitated, faltered, and at last laid one white hand upon

her bosom, that was beginning to heave, and said, with patient dignity,

"My old friend--I--am--deserted."

Ashmead looked at her with amazement and incredulity. "Deserted!" said

he, faintly. "You--deserted!!!"

"Yes," said she, "deserted; but perhaps not forever." Her noble eyes

filled to the brim, and two tears stood ready to run over.

"Why, the man must be an idiot!" shouted Ashmead.

"Hush! not so loud. That waiter is listening: let me come to your table."

She came and sat down at his table, and he sat opposite her. They looked

at each other. He waited for her to speak. With all her fortitude, her

voice faltered, under the eye of sympathy. "You are my old friend," she

said. "I'll try and tell you all." But she could not all in a moment, and

the two tears trickled over and ran down her cheeks; Ashmead saw them,

and burst out, "The villain!--the villain!"

"No, no," said she, "do not call him that. I could not bear it. Believe

me, he is no villain." Then she dried her eyes, and said, resolutely, "If

I am to tell you, you must not apply harsh words to him. They would close

my mouth at once, and close my heart."

"I won't say a word," said Ashmead, submissively; "so tell me all."

Ina reflected a moment, and then told her tale. Dealing now with longer

sentences, she betrayed her foreign half.

"Being alone so long," said she, "has made me reflect more than in all my

life before, and I now understand many things that, at the time, I could

not. He to whom I have given my love, and resigned the art in which I was

advancing--with your assistance--is, by nature, impetuous and inconstant.

He was born so, and I the opposite. His love for me was too violent to

last forever in any man, and it soon cooled in him, because he is

inconstant by nature. He was jealous of the public: he must have all my

heart, and all my time, and so he wore his own passion out. Then his

great restlessness, having now no chain, became too strong for our

happiness. He pined for change, as some wanderers pine for a fixed home.

Is it not strange? I, a child of the theater, am at heart domestic. He, a

gentleman and a scholar, born, bred, and fitted to adorn the best

society, is by nature a Bohemian.

"One word: is there another woman?"

"No, not that I know of; Heaven forbid!" said Ina. "But there is

something very dreadful: there is gambling. He has a passion for it, and

I fear I wearied him by my remonstrances. He dragged me about from one

gambling-place to another, and I saw that if I resisted he would go

without me. He lost a fortune while we were together, and I do really

believe he is ruined, poor dear."

Ashmead suppressed all signs of ill-temper, and asked, grimly, "Did he

quarrel with you, then?"

"Oh, no; he never said an unkind word to me; and I was not always so

forbearing, for I passed months of torment. I saw that affection, which

was my all, gliding gradually away from me; and the tortured will cry

out. I am not an ungoverned woman, but sometimes the agony was

intolerable, and I complained. Well, that agony, I long for it back; for

now I am desolate."

"Poor soul! How could a man have the heart to leave you? how could he

have the face?"

"Oh, he did not do it shamelessly. He left me for a week, to visit

friends in England. But he wrote to me from London. He had left me at

Berlin. He said that he did not like to tell me before parting, but I

must not expect to see him for six weeks; and he desired me to go to my

mother in Denmark. He would send his next letter to me there. Ah! he knew

I should need my mother when his second letter came. He had planned it

all, that the blow might not kill me. He wrote to tell me he was a ruined

man, and he was too proud to let me support him: he begged my pardon for

his love, for his desertion, for ever having crossed my brilliant path

like a dark cloud. He praised me, he thanked me, he blessed me; but he

left me. It was a beautiful letter, but it was the death-warrant of my

heart. I was abandoned."

Ashmead started up and walked very briskly, with a great appearance of

business requiring vast dispatch, to the other end of the _salle;_ and

there, being out of Ina's hearing, he spoke his mind to a candlestick

with three branches. "D--n him! Heartless, sentimental scoundrel! D--n

him! D--n him!"

Having relieved his mind with this pious ejaculation, he returned to Ina

at a reasonable pace and much relieved, and was now enabled to say,

cheerfully, "Let us take a business view of it. He is gone--gone of his

own accord. Give him your blessing--I have given him mine--and forget

him."

"Forget him! Never while I live. Is that your advice? Oh, Mr. Ashmead!

And the moment I saw your friendly face, I said to myself, 'I am no

longer alone: here is one that will help me.'"

"And so I will, you may be sure of that," said Ashmead, eagerly. "What is

the business?"

"The business is to find him. That is the first thing."

"But he is in England."

"Oh, no; that was eight months ago. He could not stay eight months in any

country; besides, there are no gambling-houses there."

"And have you been eight months searching Europe for this madman?"

"No. At first pride and anger were strong, and I said, 'Here I stay till

he comes back to me and to his senses.'"

"Brava!"

"Yes; but month after month went by, carrying away my pride and my anger,

and leaving my affection undiminished. At last I could bear it no longer;

so, as he would not come to his senses--"

"You took leave of yours, and came out on a wild-goose chase," said

Ashmead, but too regretfully to affront her.

"It _was,"_ said Ina; "I feel it. But it is not one _now,_ because I have

_you_ to assist me with your experience and ability. You will find him

for me, somehow or other. I know you will."

Let a woman have ever so little guile, she must have tact, if she is a

true woman. Now, tact, if its etymology is to be trusted, implies a fine

sense and power of touch; so, in virtue of her sex, she pats a horse

before she rides him, and a man before she drives him. There, ladies,


生词表:
  • character [´kæriktə] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.特性;性质;人物;字   (初中英语单词)
  • accent [´æksənt, æk´sent] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.重音;口音 vt.重读   (初中英语单词)
  • humble [´hʌmbəl] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.谦卑的 vt.贬抑   (初中英语单词)
  • modest [´mɔdist] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.谦虚的;朴素的   (初中英语单词)
  • forehead [´fɔrid] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.额,前部   (初中英语单词)
  • affect [ə´fekt] 移动到这儿单词发声  vt.影响;感动;假装   (初中英语单词)
  • resolution [,rezə´lu:ʃən] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.决心;坚决;果断   (初中英语单词)
  • amusement [ə´mju:zmənt] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.娱乐;文娱设施   (初中英语单词)
  • female [´fi:meil] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.女(性)的 n.女人   (初中英语单词)
  • singer [´siŋə] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.歌手,演唱者   (初中英语单词)
  • replace [ri´pleis] 移动到这儿单词发声  vt.放回;复置;取代   (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)
  • objection [əb´dʒekʃən] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.反对;异议;缺点   (初中英语单词)
  • snatch [snætʃ] 移动到这儿单词发声  v.&n.抢,夺取,抓住   (初中英语单词)
  • softly [´sɔftli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.软化地;柔和地   (初中英语单词)
  • firmly [´fə:mli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.坚固地,稳定地   (初中英语单词)
  • volume [´vɔlju:m, ´vɑljəm] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.卷;书籍;体积;容量   (初中英语单词)
  • remarkable [ri´mɑ:kəbl] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.值得注意的;显著的   (初中英语单词)
  • eagerly [´i:gəli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.渴望地,急切地   (初中英语单词)
  • speaker [´spi:kə] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.演讲人;代言人   (初中英语单词)
  • reflect [ri´flekt] 移动到这儿单词发声  v.反射;反响;表达   (初中英语单词)
  • advantage [əd´vɑ:ntidʒ] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.优势;利益   (初中英语单词)
  • career [kə´riə] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.经历;生涯;职业   (初中英语单词)
  • manager [´mænidʒə] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.经理;管理人;干事   (初中英语单词)
  • spoken [´spəukən] 移动到这儿单词发声  speak的过去分词   (初中英语单词)
  • devotion [di´vəuʃən] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.献身;忠诚;热爱   (初中英语单词)
  • extraordinary [ik´strɔ:dinəri] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.非常的;额外的   (初中英语单词)
  • reasonable [´rizənəbəl] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.合理的;有理智的   (初中英语单词)
  • jealous [´dʒeləs] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.妒忌的   (初中英语单词)
  • embrace [im´breis] 移动到这儿单词发声  vt.&n.拥抱;采纳;信奉   (初中英语单词)
  • honestly [´ɔnistli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.诚实地,老实地   (初中英语单词)
  • desirable [di´zaiərəbəl] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.向往的;极好的   (初中英语单词)
  • absurd [əb´sə:d] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.荒谬的,可笑的   (初中英语单词)
  • abruptly [ə´brʌptli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.突然地;粗鲁地   (初中英语单词)
  • adjourn [ə´dʒə:n] 移动到这儿单词发声  v.休会;延期;移居   (初中英语单词)
  • grateful [´greitful] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.感谢的;令人愉快的   (初中英语单词)
  • faithful [´feiθfəl] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.忠实的;可靠的   (初中英语单词)
  • overcome [,əuvə´kʌm] 移动到这儿单词发声  vt.战胜,克服   (初中英语单词)
  • beginning [bi´giniŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.开始,开端;起源   (初中英语单词)
  • amazement [ə´meizmənt] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.惊愕;惊奇   (初中英语单词)
  • sympathy [´simpəθi] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.同情,怜悯   (初中英语单词)
  • violent [´vaiələnt] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.强暴的;猛烈的   (初中英语单词)
  • passion [´pæʃən] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.激情;激怒;恋爱   (初中英语单词)
  • domestic [də´mestik] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.家庭的;本国的   (初中英语单词)
  • scholar [´skɔlə, ´skɑ-] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.学者;奖学金获得者   (初中英语单词)
  • dreadful [´dredful] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.可怕的;讨厌的   (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)
  • pardon [´pɑ:dən] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.&vt.原谅;饶恕;赦免   (初中英语单词)
  • brilliant [´briliənt] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.灿烂的;杰出的   (初中英语单词)
  • accord [ə´kɔ:d] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.&vi.符合 vt.给与   (初中英语单词)
  • assist [ə´sist] 移动到这儿单词发声  v.协助;援助;搀扶   (初中英语单词)
  • ability [ə´biliti] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.(办事)能力;才干   (初中英语单词)
  • virtue [´və:tʃu:] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.美德;贞操;长处   (初中英语单词)
  • repose [ri´pəuz] 移动到这儿单词发声  v.&n.(使)休息;安息   (高中英语单词)
  • contempt [kən´tempt] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.轻蔑;受辱;不顾   (高中英语单词)
  • sweetness [´swi:tnis] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.甜蜜;芳香;亲切   (高中英语单词)
  • apparently [ə´pærəntli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.显然,表面上地   (高中英语单词)
  • musician [mju:´ziʃən] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.音乐家,作曲家   (高中英语单词)
  • tenderly [´tendəli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.娇嫩地;柔和地   (高中英语单词)
  • mellow [´meləu] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.芳醇的 v.(使)成熟   (高中英语单词)
  • thoughtfully [´θɔ:tfuli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.深思地;体贴地   (高中英语单词)
  • peculiarity [pi,kju:li´æriti] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.特色;特性;怪癖   (高中英语单词)
  • chuckle [´tʃʌkl] 移动到这儿单词发声  vi.&n.轻声笑;暗自笑   (高中英语单词)
  • ladder [´lædə] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.梯子;阶梯   (高中英语单词)
  • strain [strein] 移动到这儿单词发声  vt.拉紧 vi.拖 n.张力   (高中英语单词)
  • injustice [in´dʒʌstis] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.不公正,不公平   (高中英语单词)
  • faintly [´feintli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.微弱地,软弱无力的   (高中英语单词)
  • dealing [´di:liŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.交易;来往   (高中英语单词)
  • grimly [´grimli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.严厉地;坚强地   (高中英语单词)
  • torment [´tɔ:ment] 移动到这儿单词发声  vt.(使)痛苦,折磨   (高中英语单词)
  • denmark [´denmɑ:k] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.丹麦   (高中英语单词)
  • dispatch [di´spætʃ] 移动到这儿单词发声  vt.&n.发送;派遣;调度   (高中英语单词)
  • hearing [´hiəriŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.听力;听证会;审讯   (高中英语单词)
  • comely [´kʌmli] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.秀丽的;文雅的   (英语四级单词)
  • reddish [´rediʃ] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.带红色的;微红的   (英语四级单词)
  • beautifully [´bju:tifəli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.美丽地;优美地   (英语四级单词)
  • amiable [´eimiəbəl] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.亲切的,温和的   (英语四级单词)
  • theatrical [θi´ætrikəl] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.戏院的;戏剧(性)的   (英语四级单词)
  • waiter [´weitə] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.侍者,服务员   (英语四级单词)
  • hurriedly [´hʌridli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.仓促地,忙乱地   (英语四级单词)
  • composure [kəm´pəuʒə] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.镇静,沉着   (英语四级单词)
  • evermore [,evə´mɔ:] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.永远,始终   (英语四级单词)
  • applaud [ə´plɔ:d] 移动到这儿单词发声  v.鼓掌赞成;称赞   (英语四级单词)
  • grievance [´gri:vəns] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.不平;冤情;抱怨   (英语四级单词)
  • unkind [,ʌn´kaind] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.不客气的;不和善的   (英语四级单词)
  • parting [´pɑ:tiŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.&n.分离(的)   (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)
  • briskly [´briskli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.轻快地;活泼地   (英语四级单词)
  • sentimental [,senti´mentl] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.感伤的;多愁善感的   (英语四级单词)
  • admirably [´ædmərəbli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.令人钦佩地;极妙地   (英语六级单词)
  • middle-aged [´midl´eidʒid] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.中年的   (英语六级单词)
  • hunting [´hʌntiŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.打猎   (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)
  • munich [´mju:nik] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.慕尼黑   (英语六级单词)
  • condescend [,kɔndi´send] 移动到这儿单词发声  vi.屈尊;堕落   (英语六级单词)
  • fortitude [´fɔ:titju:d] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.坚忍;刚毅   (英语六级单词)
  • resolutely [´rezəlju:tli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.坚决地;果断地   (英语六级单词)
  • impetuous [im´petjuəs] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.急促的;猛烈的   (英语六级单词)
  • desertion [di´zə:ʃən] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.离开,遗弃;潜逃   (英语六级单词)
  • affront [ə´frʌnt] 移动到这儿单词发声  vt.&n.(当众)侮辱   (英语六级单词)

  • 上传人 欢乐鱼 分享于 2017-06-26 18:56:24
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