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[American Story] 【整理】2008-03-08 The Californian's Tale (2)

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 One of the pictures on the wall was not hanging in straight. He noticed it and went to fix it. He stepped to back several times to make sure the picture was really straight. Then he gave it a gentle touch with his hand."She always dusts that."he explained to me,"it is like the finishing pat a mother gives her child's hair after she has brushed it. I have seen her fixed those things so often that i can do it just the way she does. I don't know why i do it. I just do it." As he talked, I realized there was something in this room that he wanted me to discover. I looked around. When my eyes reached the corner of the room near the fireplace. He broke into a laugh and joined his hands together. "That is it,"he cried out,"you have found it! I know you would.It is her picture." I ran to a little black shelf that held a small picture of the most beautiful woman I had ever seen. There were sweetness and softness in the woman's expression that I have never seen before. The man took the picture from my hands and stared at it. "She was 19 on her last birthday. That was the day we were married. When you see her, oh, just wait until you meet her." " Where is she now?"I asked. "Oh, she is away," the man signed, putting the picture back on the black shelf."She went to visit her parents. They live 40 or 50 miles from here. She has been gone 2 weeks to day." "When will she be back?" I asked. " Well, this is Wednesday," he said slowly," she will be back on Saturday, in the evening." I felt a short sense of regret, " I am sorry because I will be gone by then." I said. " Gone? No, why should you go ? Don't go. She will be so sorry. You see, she likes to have people come and stay with us." " No, i really must leave." I said firmly. He picked up her picture and held it before my eyes. " Here," he said,"now, you tell her to her face that you could stay to meet her and you would not."

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