爱思英语编者按:今天小编带你一起欣赏老舍《买彩票》英译。

         在我们那村里,抓会赌彩是自古有之。航空奖券,自然的,大受欢迎。头彩五十万,听听!二姐发起集股合作,首先拿出大洋二角。我自己先算了一卦,上吉,于是拿了四角。和二姐算计了好大半天,原来还短着九元四才够买一张的。我和她分头去宣传,五十万,五十万,五十个人分,每人还落一万,二角钱弄一万!举村若狂,连狗都听熟了“五十万”,凡是说“五十万”的,哪怕是生人,也立刻摇尾而不上前一口把腿咬住。闹了整一个星期;十元算是凑齐;我是最大的股员。三姥姥才拿了五分,和四姨五姨共同凑了一股;她们还立了一本账簿。

        上哪里去买呢?还得算卦。二姐不信任我的诸葛金钱课,花了五大枚请王瞎子占了个马前神课……利东北。城里有四家代售处;利成记在城之东北;决议,到利成记去买。可是,利成是四家买卖中最小的一号,只卖卷烟煤油,万一把十元拐去,或是卖假券呢!又送了王瞎子五大枚,从新另占。西北也行,他说;不但是行,他细掐过手指,还比东北好呢!西北是恒祥记,大买卖,二姐出阁时的缎子红被还是那儿买的呢。

        谁去买?又是个问题。按说我是头号股员,我应当跑一趟。可是我是属牛的,今年是鸡年,总得找属鸡的,还得是男性,女性丧气。只有李家小三是鸡年生的,平日那些属鸡的好象都变了,找不着一个。小三自己去太不放心啊,于是决定另派二员金命的男人妥为保护。挑了吉日,三位进城买票。

        票买来了,谁拿着呢?我们村里的合作事业有个特点,谁也不信任谁。经过三天三夜的讨论,还是交给了三姥姥,年高虽不见得必有德,可是到底手脚不利落,不至私自逃跑。

直到开彩那天,大家谁也没睡好觉。以我自己说,得了头彩——还能不是我们得吗?!——就分两万,这两万怎么花?买处小房,好,房的地点,样式,怎么布置,想了半夜。不,不买房子,还是作买卖好,于是铺子的地点、形式、种类,怎么赚钱,赚了钱以后怎样友展,又是半夜。天上的星星,河边的水泡,都看着象洋钱。清晨的鸟鸣,夜半的虫声,都说着“五十万”。偶尔睡着,手按在胸上,梦见一堆现洋压在身上,连气也出不得!特意买了一付骨牌,为是随时打卦。打了坏卦,不算,另打;于是打的都是好卦,财是发准了。

        开奖了。报上登出前五彩,没有我们背熟了的那一号。房子,铺子……随着汗全走了。等六彩七彩吧,头五奖没有,难道还不中个小六彩?又算了一卦,上吉;六彩是五百,弄几块作件夏布大衫也不坏。于是一边等着六彩七彩的揭露,一边重读前五彩的号数,替得奖的人们想着怎么花用的方法,未免有些羡妒,所以想着想着便想到得奖人的乐极生悲,也许被钱烧死;自己没得也好;自然自己得奖也不见得就烧死。无论怎说,心中有点发堵。

       六彩七彩也登出来了,还是没咱们的事,这才想起对尾子,连尾子都和我们开玩笑,我们的是个“三”,大奖的偏偏是个“二”。没办法!

二姐和我是发起人呀!三姥姥向我们俩要索她的五分。没法不赔她。赔了她,别人的二角也无意虚掷。二姐这两天生病,她就是有这个本事,心里一想就会生病。剩下我自己打发大家的二角。打发完了,二姐的病也好了,我呢,昨天夜里睡得很清甜。

        Lotteries have been in our village since time immemorial. Air Force Lotto? Great! We welcome it like our very own. The grand prize is 500,000 yuan? Holy smoke! The Second Elder Sister started a lottery group by putting down 20 cents first. Having consulted my fortune, which said most favorable, I put down 40 cents. For a whole day Sister and I calculated over and again we went out to recruit prospective players: 500,000 yuan; 500,000 yuan divided among 50 players, each getting 10,000 yuan, 20 cents for 10,000 yuan! The whole village was crazed with excitement. Even dogs had heard so much of “500,000 yuan” instead of dashing over and sinking their fangs into his leg. The craze lasted for a week; we were able to scrape together 10 yuan, with me being the biggest stock-holder. Granny put down only 5 cents. The Fourth Auntie and Fifth Auntie held joint ownership of one share; they even set up an account book for the purpose.

       Where to go and purchase the lottery? The Second Sister, not trusting my foresight in matters of money, paid five big coins to Blind Wang for an astrological reading, which turned out to favor the northeast direction. Of the four lottery vendors the entire city, Lucky You is in the northeast. So we decided to go and purchase at Lucky You. However, Lucky You is the smallest of the four and its merchandise is limited to cigarettes and kerosene and stuff. What if the 10 yuan were embezzled? Or the ticket they sell are counterfeits? So, we gave Blind Wang another five big coins to have another astrological reading. It turned out, he said, the northwest would be favorable, too. Not just favorable; in fact, based on careful calculation through his fingers, more favorable than northeast! Good Luck Forever, a much bigger vendor, is in northwest. That’s where the Second Sister had purchased the silk and red quilt and stuff for her wedding.

       Who to go and purchase the ticket? A new question presented itself. Ordinarily it should be me, being the biggest shareholder. However, I’m an Ox, and this being the Year of the Rooster, it should be someone who is a Rooster, a man, to be more exactly, ’cause a woman would bring bad luck. Only the Third Born in the Li family is a Rooster; somehow, all the other Roosters have suddenly disappeared into thin air. We wouldn’t trust the Third Born, being so little, to go all by himself. So we decided to send two men, both of the sturdiest Metal Life, to escort him. Then, on an auspicious day, the three traveled downtown to purchase the ticket.

Now that the ticket has been purchased, who should hold it? Whenever our village needs to do something collectively, we run into the same problem: Nobody trusts nobody else. After three whole days and nights of deliberations, it was entrusted to the care of the Third Untie, who has the virtue not of being trustworthy, but of being advanced in age, which would render it virtually impossible for her to flee with the ticket.

      On the day of the Lottery, nobody could get a wink of sleep. Take me for instance, once I receive my share of the grand prize—Who else but us will win it?!—how should I spend the 20,000 yuan? Buying a small house? Sounds good, but what location, what style, and what decoration? I toss and turn past the midnight. No, not buying a house, but starting a business instead. Then, the store’s location, style, kind, ways to make money, to expand with the money made, and so on. I toss and turn the rest of the night. The stars in the sky, foamy bubbles by the river’s edge, all look like glittering coins. Insects cheeping during the night, birds chirping at dawn, all sing the same “500,000 yuan” song. Dozing off now and then, hands resting on the chest, I dreamed of glittering coins piled up on me; I could hardly breathe! Then I bought a set of bone cards, at the ready for reading my fortune. If it was bad fortune, it wouldn’t count; simply try again. As a result, it was all good fortune. I would hit the jackpot for sure.

     Then, the lottery was drawn and the newspapers announced the top five winning numbers. It didn’t have the number we had committed to memory. House, store .. were all washed away with sweat. So we waited for the sixth and seventh prize winning numbers: No luck with the top five prizes, a sixth prize, to say the least, should be a sure thing? I had my fortune read once again: most favorable. The sixth prize is 00 yuan, part of which could be spent on a new shirt for the summer, not bad. So, while waiting for the sixth and seventh prizes to be announced, I went over the top five winning numbers over and again, thinking of ways for them to spend the money, and couldn’t help but feeling somewhat jealous while thinking thus, and one thought leading to another, I began to think about how the winners’ blissful good fortune had a sudden, disastrous turn, being burnt to death in a fire of their money, perhaps; so it was really my good fortune not to have won the lottery; however, if I had won, I might not have to die in a fire. No matter how I sliced it, it wasn’t a hearty feeling after all.

    Then the sixth and seventh prizes were announced. They still had nothing to do with us. It was then that we thought of the last digit prize. Even that played a joke on us: Ours was a 3, while the winning digit was a 2. No luck!

Woe was the Second Sister and me, the organizers of the group! The Third Auntie wanted back from us her 5 cents. There was no way not to refund her. Once we refunded her, nobody else would be willing to write off their 20 cents as lost causes. The Second Sister has been under the weather for the last two days. She has this amazing ability to feel under the weather whenever the woe hits her. So, I was left alone to take care of the 20 cents for everybody. Now that all is taken care of, the Second Sister is not under the weather any more. As for me, well, I slept soundly last night.