The Cop And The Anthem

Topics: Short story, The Cop Pages: 18 (11358 words) Published: April 25, 2015
The Cop and the Anthem.   O.Henry
On his bench in Madison Square Soapy moved uneasily. When wild geese honk high of nights, and when women without sealskin coats grow kind to their husbands, and when Soapy moves uneasily on his bench in the park, you may know that winter is near at hand. Сопи заерзал на своей скамейке в Мэдисон-сквере. Когда стаи диких гусей тянутся по ночам высоко в небе, когда женщины, не имеющие котиковых манто, становятся ласковыми к своим мужьям, когда Сони начинает ерзать на своей скамейке в парке, это значит, что зима на носу. A dead leaf fell in Soapy's lap. That was Jack Frost's card. Jack is kind to the regular denizens of Madison Square, and gives fair warning of his annual call. At the corners of four streets he hands his pasteboard to the North Wind, footman of the mansion of All Outdoors, so that the inhabitants thereof may make ready. Желтый лист упал на колени Сопи. То была визитная карточка Деда Мороза; этот старик добр к постоянным обитателям Мэдисон-сквера и честно предупреждает их о своем близком приходе. На перекрестке четырех улиц он вручает свои карточки Северному ветру, швейцару гостиницы "Под открытым небом", чтобы постояльцы ее приготовились. Soapy's mind became cognisant of the fact that the time had come for him to resolve himself into a singular Committee of Ways and Means to provide against the coming rigour. And therefore he moved uneasily on his bench. Сопи понял, что для него настал час учредить в собственном лице комитет для изыскания средств и путей к защите своей особы от надвигавшегося холода. Поэтому он заерзал на своей скамейке. The hibernatorial ambitions of Soapy were not of the highest. In them there were no considerations of Mediterranean cruises, of soporific Southern skies drifting in the Vesuvian Bay. Three months on the Island was what his soul craved. Three months of assured board and bed and congenial company, safe from Boreas and bluecoats, seemed to Soapy the essence of things desirable. Зимние планы Сопи не были особенно честолюбивы. Он не мечтал ни о небе юга, ни о поездке на яхте по Средиземному морю со стоянкой в Неаполитанском заливе. Трех месяцев заключения на Острове - вот чего жаждала его душа. Три месяца верного крова и обеспеченной еды, в приятной компании, вдали от посягательства Борея и фараонов - для Сопи это был поистине предел желаний. For years the hospitable Blackwell's had been his winter quarters. Just as his more fortunate fellow New Yorkers had bought their tickets to Palm Beach and the Riviera each winter, so Soapy had made his humble arrangements for his annual hegira to the Island. And now the time was come. On the previous night three Sabbath newspapers, distributed beneath his coat, about his ankles and over his lap, had failed to repulse the cold as he slept on his bench near the spurting fountain in the ancient square. So the Island loomed big and timely in Soapy's mind. He scorned the provisions made in the name of charity for the city's dependents. In Soapy's opinion the Law was more benign than Philanthropy. There was an endless round of institutions, municipal and eleemosynary, on which he might set out and receive lodging and food accordant with the simple life. But to one of Soapy's proud spirit the gifts of charity are encumbered. If not in coin you must pay in humiliation of spirit for every benefit received at the hands of philanthropy. As Caesar had his Brutus, every bed of charity must have its toll of a bath, every loaf of bread its compensation of a private and personal inquisition. Wherefore it is better to be a guest of the law, which though conducted by rules, does not meddle unduly with a gentleman's private affairs. Уже несколько лет гостеприимная тюрьма на Острове служила ему зимней квартирой. Как его более счастливые сограждане покупали себе билеты во Флориду или на Ривьеру, так и Сопи делал несложные приготовления к ежегодному паломничеству на Остров. И теперь время для этого наступило. Прошлой ночью три...
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