A few days ago I asked my sons’ governess Julia to come into my study.
“Be seated, Julia,” I said. “Let’s settle our accounts. I guess you most likely need some money, but maybe you’re too polite to mention it. Now then, we agreed on thirty dollars a month...”
“No, thirty. I made a note of it. I always pay our governess thirty. Well, hmm, you’ve been here two months, so...”
“Two months and five days.”
“Exactly two months. I made a special note of it. That means you have sixty dollars coming to you. Take off nine Sundays... You know you didn’t work with Tom on Sundays. You only took walks. And three holidays...”
Julia was biting her finger nail nervously, her face red, but—not a word.
“Three holidays, therefore take off twelve dollars. Four days Tom was sick and there were no lessons, as you were occupied only with Dick. Three days you had a toothache and my wife gave you permission not to work after lunch. Twelve and seven—nineteen. Take nineteen off...that leaves...hmm...forty one dollars. Correct?”
Julia’s left eye reddened with tears welling up. Her chin trembled；she coughed nervously and blew her nose, but—still not a word.
“Around New Year’s Day you broke a teacup and a saucer: take off two dollars. The cup cost more, it was a treasure of the family, but—forget it. When didn’t I take a loss?! Then, due to your carelessness the maid stole Dick’s shoes. You ought to watch everything! You get paid for it. So, that means five more dollars off. The tenth of January I gave you ten dollars.”
“You didn’t,” sobbed Julia.
“But I made a note of it.”
“Well...if you say so.”
“Take twenty seven from forty one—that leaves fourteen. ”
Both her eyes were filled with tears. Beads of sweat stood on the thin pretty little nose. Poor girl!
“Only once was I given any money,” she whispered, her voice trembling, “and that was by your wife. Three dollars, nothing more.”
“Really? You see now, and I didn’t know that! Take three from fourteen...leaves eleven. Here’s your money, my dear. Three, three, three, one and one. Here it is!”
I handed her eleven dollars. She took them and pocketed them.
“Merci(法语，谢谢),” she whispered.
I jumped to my feet and started pacing the room. I was overcome with anger.
“For what, this ‘merci’?”I asked.
“For the money.”
“But you know I’ve cheated you—robbed you! I have actually stolen from you! Why this ‘Merci’?”
“In my other places they didn’t give me anything at all. ”
“They didn’t give you anything? No wonder! I played a little joke on you, a cruel lesson, just to teach you...I’m going to give you all the eighty dollars! Here they are in the envelope all ready for you...Is it really possible to be so spineless（懦弱）? Why didn’t you protest? Why were you silent? Is it possible in this world to be without teeth and claws（爪）—to be such a fool?”
Embarrassed, she smiled. And I could read her expression: “It is possible.”
I asked her pardon for the cruel lesson and, to her great surprise, gave her the eighty dollars. She murmured her little “merci” several times and went out. I looked after her and thought: “How easy it is to crush the weak in this world!”
小题1:While talking to Julia, the writer expected ____________ from her.
小题2:What shocked the writer was Juila’s ____________.
|A．nervousness in front of her boss||B．acceptance of injustice|
|C．shyness when talking about money||D．unwillingness to express herself|
小题3:The writer said, “Is it possible in this world to be without teeth and claws?” He was actually telling the governess _______.
|A．to be more aggressive||B．to be more careful in her work|
|C．to protect her own right||D．to live independently|
小题4:At the end of the story, the writer said “How easy it is to crush the weak in this world!” to show __________.
|A．his understanding of Julia’s anxiety|
|B．his worry about Julia’s future|
|C．his concern on the living conditions of working-class people|
|D．his sympathy for the mental state of those exploited(被剥削的)|
小题5:From the story, we can tell that Julia’s employer was ____________.
|A．greedy but honest||B．ill-tempered but warm-hearted|
|C．strict but forgiving||D．honest, kind and worried|