(1) For a minute he said nothing, but then he began, 'Good afternoon. I'm looking for Mr and Mrs White.'
'Well, I'm Mrs White,' the old woman answered. 'What can I do for you?'
At first the stranger did not answer, but then he said, 'Mrs White, I'm from Maw and Meggins. Can I come in and talk to you?'
'Yes, of course,' Mrs White answered. 'Please come in.'
The well-dressed stranger came into the little living-room and Mr White stood up.
'Are you Mr White?' the stranger began. Then he went on, 'I'm from Maw and Meggins.'
Mrs White looked at the stranger and she thought, 'Perhaps he has the money… but why Maw and Meggins? And his face is very unhappy… Why?' suddenly the old woman was afraid.
'Please sit down,' Mr White began, but now his wife could not wait.
'What's the matter?' she cried. 'Is Herbert…' (3)
The stranger did not look at their faces—and Mr White began to be afraid too.
'Please, tell us!' he said.
'I'm very sorry,' the man from Maw and Meggins began. He stopped for a minute and then he began again. 'I'm very sorry, (4) '
'What's the matter? Is Herbert OK?' Mrs White cried a gain.
'Well…' the man began slowly.
'Is he in hospital?' the old woman asked, very afraid now.
'Yes, but…' the stranger looked at Mrs White's face and stopped.
'Is he dead? Is Herbert dead?' Mr White asked quietly.
'Dead!' Mrs White cried. 'Oh no… please…not dead! Not Herbert! Not our son!'
Suddenly the old woman stopped because she saw the stranger's face. Then the two old people knew. Their son was dead! (5)
The tall, well-dressed stranger stood there. Maw and Meggins had a big factory and Herbert White worked there on the machinery. she could not finish the question. but this morning there was an accident at the factory. Old Mrs White began to cry quietly and Mr White put his arm round her.
穿着讲究的高个子陌生人站在那儿。他什么也没说。好一会儿，他才开始说话。“下午好，我正要找怀特夫妇。” “哦，我就是怀特太太，”老妇人答道，“我能为你做些什么吗？” 陌生人顿了顿才说，“怀特太太，我从莫和麦金森来，我能进去跟您谈谈吗？” 莫和麦金森有一个大工厂，赫伯特·怀特在那儿作机器操作工。 “当然可以，请进吧。”怀特太太答道。 穿着讲究的陌生人进了小客厅，怀特先生站了起来。 “你是怀特先生吗？”陌生人问。他又继续介绍，“我从莫和麦金森来”。 怀特太太看着陌生人，想道，“也许，他很有钱……但为什么来自莫和麦金森？从他的脸色看他并不高兴……为什么？”突然，老妇人很害怕。 “请坐。”怀特先生说，但她妻子已经等得不耐烦了。 “出了什么事？”她叫了起来，“是不是赫伯特……”她几乎不能把话问完。 陌生人并不瞧他们的脸，怀特先生也开始害怕了。 “请告诉我们！”他说。 从莫和麦金森来的人停了好一会儿才开始说，“对不起，非常对不起，今天早晨，工厂发生了一起事故……。” “到底出了什么事，赫伯特还好吗？”怀特太太又叫了起来。 “是这样……”陌生人慢慢地说。 “他住院了吗？”老妇人问，现在她非常害怕。 “但是……”陌生人看了一眼怀特太太的脸又停了下来。 “他死了吗？赫伯特死啦？”怀特先生平静地问。 “死啦，”怀特太太哭叫着。“不，请不要这样说……，不，赫伯特不会死，我们的儿子不会死！” 突然，老妇人不喊了，因为她看见了陌生人的表情。两个老人明白，他们的儿子已经死了！老怀特太太呜咽着，怀特先生伤心地搂着她。