Jack London. The Apostate (adapted for intermediate)

Part 6

Copyright  © Englishstory.ru, 2016

New Words to Learn:

  1. unconsciousness — бессознательность
  2. consciousness — сознание
  3. ach — 1. боль, 2. болеть
  4. painfully — болезненно
  5. amazingly — изумленно
  6. It is no use. — Бесполезно.
  7. sickness — заболевание

There was no joy in life for him. His mind was empty. He had no ideals, no illusions. When he didn’t work, he slept in unconsciousness. The rest of the time he worked, and his consciousness was machine consciousness.

It was in the late spring that he came home from work one night unusually tired. He sat down to the table, eating mechanically what was before him. Then he dropped the spoon and stood up from the table.

«I guess I’ll go to bed.»

His walked more heavily than usual as he crossed the kitchen floor. He undressed and fell into bed weakly with one shoe still on. Something heavy was rising inside his head. All his bones ached. He ached everywhere and in his head he could hear the noise of a million machines.

He did not go to work next morning. He lay in bed looking at the ceiling. Sometimes his lips moved. He seemed lost in endless calculations. The doctor came and said that he had a grippe and would be fit for work in a week.

Next morning, after the day grew warm, he took his seat on the stairs. He had pencil and paper to continue his calculations, and he calculated painfully and amazingly.

«What comes after millions?» he asked at noon, when Will came home from school.

Each day, but without paper and pencil, he returned to the stairs. He was greatly interested in the one tree that grew across the street. He studied it for hours at a time, all its branches and leaves. All the week he seemed very busy with himself. On Sunday, sitting on the stairs, he laughed aloud, several times, to the surprise of his mother, who had not heard him laugh in years.

Next morning, in the early darkness, she came to his bed to wake him up. He awoke easily. He lay quietly, and spoke quietly.

«It is no use, ma.»

«You’ll be late,» she said thinking that he was still stupid with sleep.

«I’m not sleeping, ma, and I tell you it is no use. Let me alone. I am not going to get up.»

«But you’ll lose your job!» she cried.

«I am not going to get up,» he repeated in a strange indifferent voice.

This was some unknown sickness and she sent for the doctor again. When he arrived, Johnny was still sleeping . The doctor woke him up gently, examined his body and took his pulse.

«Nothing the matter with him,» he said. «He’s too thin, that’s all. Not much meat on his bones.»

«He’s always been that way,» answered his mother.

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