Jack London. The Apostate (adapted for pre-intermediate)

Part 5

Copyright  © Englishstory.ru, 2016

New Words to Learn:

  1. independence — независимость
  2. relationship — отношения
  3. an equal — равный
  4. memories — воспоминания
  5. vague forms — смутные очертания
  6. be promoted — получить повышение
  7. date from — вести отсчет времени

When he went to work again, the machinery ran faster and his mind ran slower. He no longer dreamed at all, now he was too old and tired. But he still believed in the smiling future.

He had become a man very early in life. At seven, when he earned his first money. It was when he got a certain feeling of independence, and the relationship between him and his mother changed. He was more like an equal with her: he did his own work in the world. At eleven he went to work on the night shift for six months. No child works on the night shift and remains a child.

night shift — ночная смена

All days were alike, his mind was empty and he thought of nothing. Only his earlier memories were there with him. There was one memory of the past that came to Johnny at night. At the moment when he was going to sleep, he saw the vague forms of his father and mother and they were moving around, one of them shouting and the other crying.

He had no other memories. Yesterday or last year were the same as a thousand years — or a minute. Nothing ever happened. There were no events to mark the march of time. Time did not go. It stood always still. It was only the machines that moved, and they moved nowhere.

the march of time – ход времени

When he was fourteen, he was promoted. It was a colossal event. Something had at last happened. It marked an era. It was a thing to date from. «When I was promoted,» or, «after,» or «before I was promoted,» were often on his lips.

It was piece-work too. He earned more but the rent went up. And the children were growing up. They ate more. And they were going to school, and school-books cost money. And somehow, the faster he worked, the faster went up the prices of things.

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