The small family group gathered in the library was only conventionally alarmed by the sound of a violent explosion--a singularly self-centred sort of explosion.
′Well, thank God, that′s over,′ said Mrs Alice Pollard Lambert, swathing her sentence in a sigh intended to convey an impression of hard-pressed fortitude.
“噢，谢天谢地，终于结束了”，艾丽丝 波拉德 兰伯特夫人叹息着说，极力想表现出一副镇定的表情。
With bleak eyes she surveyed the fragments of a shattered vase. Its disastrous dive from the piano as a result of the shock had had in it something of the mad deliberation of a suicide′s plunge.
Its hideous days were over now, and Mrs Lambert was dimly aware of another little familiar something having been withdrawn from her life.
′I hope to high heaven this last one satisfies him for this spring at least,′ was the petulant comment of Alfred, the male annexe of Alice.
“我向上帝祈祷，希望这是最后一次，至少是这个春天的最后一次吧。” 阿尔弗雷德暴躁地说道。 他是艾丽丝的男伴。
′I′ve been waiting and waiting and waiting,′ came a thin disembodied voice from a dark corner.
′Night and day I′ve been waiting and expecting--′ ′And hoping and praying, no doubt, Grandpa,′ interrupted Daphne, idly considering a run in her stocking and wondering what she was going to do about it, if anything, and when would be the least boring time to do it if she did, which she doubted.
′Alice,′ complained Grandpa Lambert from the security of his shadows, ′that baggage has no respect for her elders.′
Stella, femininely desirable but domestically a washout, made one of her typical off-balance entrances.
It started with a sort of scrambled hovering at the door, developed this into a mad dash into the room, and terminated in a tragic example of suspended animation somewhere in the immaculate neighborhood of Mrs Alice Pollard Lambert.
刚开始的时候，她在门外慌乱地徘徊着，然后突然猛地冲进来，最后像动画片里那些被定格的悲剧画面一样，停在了艾丽丝 波拉德 兰伯特夫人身边一个干净的地方。
′Been an explosion, ma′am,′ announced Stella in a deflated voice. ′Mr Betts says so.′
′Now all you need to do is to fall dead at our feet to make the picture complete,′ remarked Daphne.
′Yes, Miss Daffy,′ said Stella brightly.
′And if Mr Betts says there′s been an explosion,′ Daffy continued, ′then there must have been an explosion. Betts is never wrong. You go back, Stella dear, and thank him for letting us know so promptly.′
“如果是贝茨先生说发生爆炸的话，那肯定是发生爆炸了。 贝茨先生不会错的。 你回去吧，亲爱的斯特拉，替我们谢谢他这么快就让我们知道情况。”
′But, Miss Daffy, what shall we do about it?′ asked Stella, vainly looking for some light to guide amid the encircling gloom.
′About what, Stella?′ asked Daffy.
′This explosion, miss,′ and Stella extended her hands as if she were offering a young explosion for the inspection of Daphne.
′Stella,′ that young lady explained with sweet but jaded patience, ′one doesn′t do things about explosions. Explosions are quite competent to do things for themselves. All sorts of things. The most one can do for an explosion is to leave it entirely alone until it has decided to become a ruin. Also, you can blink at an explosion respectfully in the news reels and feel good about its ghastly results. You′ll probably gasp at this one on your night off next Thursday.′ She paused, then added, ′With that stout fellow Tim breathing heavily in your ear.′
“斯特拉小姐，没有人会对爆炸做些什么事情。爆炸本身就能做很多事情。它可以做各种各样的事情。人们能做的就是什么都不管，等它自己消亡。当然，你也可以看看那些新闻片，看看它造成的可怕的后果，然后觉得庆幸。但是你很有可能会被下周四晚上的新闻吓一跳。” 那位年轻的女士用甜美又不耐烦的声音解释道。 她停了一下，接着说：“还有那个强壮的蒂姆在你耳边喘着粗气哦。”