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2011年11月19日 星期六



The chain of Love

He was driving his battered old car home on a country road one evening. Ever since the Levi's factory closed, he'd been unemployed. With winter raging on, the chill had finally hit home.

    • battered: 破舊的
    • Ever since: 從...以後
    • with winter raging on: 當冬天肆虐
    • Chill hit home: 寒意來臨

The afternoon was slowly fading into twilight. Light snow flurries were coming down, and he almost missed the elderly lady who was stranded on the side of the road. Fortunately, even in the dim light of day, he could tell that she needed help. So, he pulled up in front of her Mercedes-Benz and got out. When he approached her, she was worried. "No one has stopped over the past few hours, except for this man," she thought to herself. "Is he going to hurt me? He looks poor and hungry."

    • twilight: 微光;薄暮
    • The afternoon was slowly fading into twilight: 當午後的陽光漸漸退去成暮色
    • strand: 滯留;擱淺
    • pull up: 放慢速度

Realizing that she was frightened, he said quickly, "I'm here to help. You want to wait in the car, maybe? It's too cold outside. By the way, my name is Joe."

All she had was a flat tire, but for an old lady, it was bad enough. While Joe was a changing the tire, the lady rolled down the window and started to talk to him. She told him that she was only passing through. She was very grateful that he came to her aid. Joe just smiled as he put the flat tire in the trunk.

    • flat tire: 洩氣的輪胎;爆胎
    • pass through: 路過
    • trunk: 汽車行李箱';後車廂

The elderly lady asked him how much she owed him, and she added that any amount would be all right. Joe, however, did not give the money a thought. To him, this wasn't a job, but rather a way to help someone in need, just like those who had lent him a hand in the past. He told her that if she really wanted to repay him, she could help someone else who was in need.

    • Give the money a thought: 從未想(考慮)過要錢

He waited until she had started her car and driven off. It had been a cold and depressing day, but Joe felt uplifted as he headed for home.

A few miles down the road, the lady saw a small, dingy-looking cafe. She went in to grab a bite and take the chill off before making the final leg of her trip home.

    • grab a bite: 簡單吃點東西

A waitress came over and brought a clean towel for her to dry her wet hair. The waitress had a sweet smile, one that even being on her feet for the entire day couldn't erase. The lady then noticed that the waitress was heavily pregnant. She wondered how a person, like this waitress, could be so giving to a perfect stranger. Then she remembered Joe.

    • on her feet: 久站(這裡用來形容笑容永遠掛在嘴上)

Finally, the lady finished her meal. While the waitress went to get the change from a hundred-dollar bill that the elderly lady had given her, the lady slipped out the door. When the waitress returned, the lady was no longer in sight. The lady had paid almost fifty times as much as the cost of the meal. Then the waitress noticed something written on a napkin. Tears filled her eyes as she read, "Someone once helped me out in the way I'm helping you now. If you really want to pay me back, don't let the chain of love end with you."

That night, after returning home from work, the waitress lay awake in bed, thinking about the money and what the lady had witten. "How would she know that we need money, especially with our baby due next month?" she wondered. Her husband, who was sleeping beside her, was worried sick about their future. She gave him a soft kiss and whispered, "Everything will be right. I love you, Joe."

- Adapted from “The Chain of Love” by Jonnie Barntt and Rory Lee, Chicken Suop for the Country Soul. Reprinted by permission of Jonnie Barnett and Balmur Entertainment, Inc. (ASCAP), and Rory Lee and Melanie Howard Music, Inc.