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

Part 8

Copyright  © Englishstory.ru, 2016

New Words to Learn:

  1. despair – отчаяние
  2. ambition – честолюбивое желание
  3. matter – иметь значение
  4. quit – перестать что-л. делать
  5. bring smb up – вырастить кого-то
  6. blind – 1. сущ. слепой, 2. гл. ослеплять
  7. hunger – голод

«But what’s going to come of Will and the children?» she asked in despair.

«That’s it, `Will and the children,’» he repeated.

He knew his mother’s ambition for the younger boy, but it didn’t matter anymore. Nothing mattered.

«I know, ma, what you’ve been planning for Will — keeping him in school to make a bookkeeper out of him. But it is no use, I’ve quit. He’s got to go to work.»

«I have brought you up,» she wept.

«You’ve never brought me up,» he answered sadly. « I brought myself up, ma, and I brought up Will. He’s bigger than me, and heavier, and taller. When I was a kid, I thought I didn’t get enough to eat. When he was a kid, I was working and earning money for him too. But that’s over. Will can go to work, same as me, or he can go to hell, I don’t care which. I’m tired. I’m leaving now. Aren’t  you going to say goodbye?»

She answered nothing. She was crying. He paused a moment in the doorway.

«I’m sure I did the best I could,» she said at last.

He left the house and went down the street. When he saw the tree, he smiled.  Then he looked up at the sky and the bright sun blinded him.

It was a long walk he took, and he did not walk fast. He went past the factory. The noise of the machines came to his ears, and he smiled. It was a gentle smile. He hated no one, not even the machines. There was nothing in him, nothing but a hunger for rest.

At last the city was behind him, and he was walking down a lane beside the railroad track. He did not walk like a man. He did not look like a man. He was a nameless piece of life that walked like an ape, arms loose-hanging, narrow-chested, grotesque and terrible.

grotesque — нелепый

He passed by a small railroad station and lay down in the grass under a tree. All afternoon he lay there. Sometimes he dozed and muscles moved in his sleep. When he awoke, he lay without movement, watching the birds or looking up at the sky through the branches of the tree above him. Once or twice he laughed aloud.

In the first darkness of the night, a train arrived at the station. Johnny opened the side-door of an empty box-car and climbed in. He closed the door. The engine whistled. Johnny was lying down in the darkness and smiled.

THE END

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