Топик: Тексты для экзамена 11 класса

A Cent Cut into Two Pieces

I worked at an office . I wrote short stories about life in New York.
One day, as engaged at the office , Tripp came in. I didn’t know exactly where Tripp was working, but he was very poor. He was pale and unhealthy , and whenever he came I knew that he was going to ask me for a dollar , and then spend it on whisky.

This time Tripp looked more unhappy then ever.

“Well , Tripp , how are you?” said I. “Have you got a dollar, Mr.
Chalmers?” asked Tripp. “Would you like a good plot for a story? I’ve got an excellent one. It will probably cost you a dollar or two.”

“ What is the story?” I asked impatiently.

“ It’s a girl. A real beauty . She had lived in a village for twenty years and has never seen New York City before. I happened to meet her in the street. I was passing by when she addressed me and asked where she could find George Brown. Asked me where she could find Gorge Brawn in New
York! She comes from a little village and has seen nothing in her life but farms. I talked to her . She told me she was going to marry farmer next week. But there had been a certain Gorge Brown who had left the village some years ago and gone to the city to earn money.

He never returned to the village. But before marrying the farmer , Ada- her mane is Ada – wants to find Gorge Brown and to have a talk with him as she seems to care for him still. That is why she has come to New York … I couldn’t leave her along. She told me that she had spent all her money and that she didn’t know what to do and where to go. So I took her to a boarding house and left her there. I want you to come with me to see her.”

“ What nonsense you are talking , Tripp,” said I. “ I thought you said you had a plot of a story.”

“Oh , it will make a story , I assure you,” said Tripp. “ You can describe the girl and add a lot about true love – well , you know how to do it and it will cost you only four dollars.”

“how will it cost me four dollars?” I asked.

“ One dollar to the landlady in the boarding house,” Tripp answered , “ and two dollars to pay the girl’s fare home.”

“ And the fourth dollar?” I asked .

“One dollar to me ,” said Tripp, “ for whisky . Are you coming?”

There was nothing to be done but I said to myself that Tripp

Would never persuade me to give him his dollar for whisky. Angrily I accompanied him to the boarding house. Tripp was right; she was a beauty.
We found Ada comfortably sitting in an armchair and crying. She told me everything. When she spoke about Gorge Brown tears came to her eyes. What could I do? I was not George.

“ Gorge and I ,” she went on , “ loved each other. When he was nineteen- that had six years ago – he left the village and went to New York to earn money. He said he would come back for me. But I never heard from him any more. On the day we parted Gorge and I cut a cent into two pieces. I took one piece and he took the other , and we promised to be devoted to each other. Something has happened to him , I am sure . It certainly was very silly of me to come here looking for him. I never ever suspected what a big place New York is.”

And then Tripp and I told her how important it was for her to stop looking for the unlucky Gorge and to return home at once.

I paid the landlady a dollar , and the three of us left the boarding house . I bought a ticket and a red rose for Ada. We saw her off. And then
Tripp and I looked at each other. Tripp seemed even more unhappy then usual.

“ Can’t you make a story of it?” he asked me. “ not a line,” said I. “
There is nothing interesting in this little adventure : but we have helped
Ada. Let us try to forget it,” said I. I did not want to give Tripp his dollar for whisky. Just as we were walking toward the bus stop, Tripp took out his handkerchief, and I saw a cheap silver watch chain. Something was hanging on the watch chain. It was a half of a cent that had been cut into halves.

‘What?” I said , looking at him with surprise. “Oh , yes,” he answered,” my real name Gorge Brown. But what’s the use?”

Without another word I took Tripp’s whisky dollar out of my pocket and put it into his hand.


( After O.Henry)


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