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Ernest Hemingway's story is about an incident that happens between a father and his son. The small boy's misunderstanding of the difference in measuring temperature on a Fahrenheit and a Celsius Scale causes him to believe that he is drying of a high fever. However, the father doesn't realize it until very late that day……
A Day's Wait
He came into the room to shut the windows while we were still in bed and I saw he looked ill. He was shivering, his face was white, and he walked slowly as though it ached to move.
"What's the matter, Schatz?"
"I've got a headache."
"You better go back to bed."
"No. I'm all right."
"You go to bed. I'll be you when I'm dressed."
But when I came downstairs he was dressed, sitting by the fire, looking a very sick and miserable boy of nine years. When I put my hand on his forehead I knew he had a fever.
"You go up to bed," I said, "You're sick."
"I'm all right," he said.
When the doctor came be took the boy's temperature.
"What's is it?" I asked him.
"One hundred and two."
Downstairs, the doctor left three different medicines in different colored capsules with instruction for giving them. One was to bring down the fever, another a purgative, the third to overcome an acid condition. The germs of influenza can only exist in an acid condition, he explained. He seemed to know all about influenza and said there was nothing to worry about if the fever did not go above one hundred and four degrees. This was a light epidemic of flu and there was no danger if you avoided pneumonia.
Back in the room I wrote the boy's temperature down and made a note of the time to give the various capsules.
"Do you want me to read to you?"
"All right. If you want to, " said the boy. His face was very white and there were dark areas under his eyes. He lay still in the bed and seemed very detached from what was going on.
I read aloud from Howard Pyle's Book of pirates; but I could see he was not following what I was reading.
"How do you feel, Schatz?" I asked him.
"Just the same, so far," he said.
I sat at the foot of the bed and read to myself while I waited for it to be time to give another capsule. It would have been natural for him to go to sleep, but when I looked up he was looking at the foot of the bed, looking very strangely.
"Why don't you try to sleep? I'll make you up for the medicine."
"I'd rather stay awake."
After a while he said to me, "You don't have to stay in here with me, Papa, if it bothers you."
"It doesn't bother me."
"No, I mean you don't have to stay if it's going to bother you."
I though perhaps he was a little lightheaded and after giving him the prescribed capsules at eleven o'clock I went out for a while. It was a bright, cold day, the ground covered with a sleet that had frozen so that it seemed as if all the bare trees, the bushes, the cut brush and all the grass and the bare ground had been varnished with ice, I took the young Irish setter for a walk up the road and along a frozen creek, but it was difficult to stand or walk on the glassy surface and the red dog slipped and slithered and I fell twice, hard, once dropping my gun and having it slide away over the ice.
We flushed a covey of quail under a high clay bank with overhanging brush and I killed two as they went out of sight over the top of the blank. Some of the covey lit in trees, but most of them scattered into brush piles and it was necessary to jump on the ice-coated mounds of brush several times before they would flush. Coming out while you were poised unsteadily on the icy, springy brush they made difficult shooting and I killed two, missed five, and started back pleased to have found a covey close to the house and happy there were so many left to find on another day.
At the house they said the boy had refused to let anyone come into the room.
"You can't come in," he said. "You mustn't get what I have."
I went up to him and found him in exactly the position I had left him, white-faced, but with the tops of his cheeks flushed by the fever, staring still, as he had stared, at the foot of the bed.
I took his temperature.
"What is it?"
"Something like a hundred," I said. It was one hundred and two and four tenths.
"It was a hundred and two," he said.
"Who said so?"
"Your temperature is all right," I said. "It's nothing to worry about."
"I don't worry," he said, "but I can't keep from thinking."
"Don't think," I said. "Just take it easy."
"I'm taking it easy," he said and looked straight ahead, He was evidently holding tight onto himself about something.
"Take this with water."
"Do you think it will do any good?"
"Of course it will."
I sat down and opened the Pirate book and commenced to read, but I could see he was not following, so I stooped.
"About what time do you think I'm going to die?" he asked.
"About how long will it be before I die?"
"You aren't going die. What's the matter with you? "
"Oh, yes, I am, I heard him say a hundred and two."
"People don't die with a fever of one hundred and two. That's a silly way to talk."
"I know they do. At school in France the boys told me you can't live with forty-four degrees. I've got a hundred and two."
He had been waiting to die all day, ever since nine o'clock in the morning.
"You poor Schatz," I said. "Poor old Schatz. It's like miles and kilometers. You aren't going to die. That's different thermometer. On that thermometer thirty-seven is normal. On this kind it's ninety-eight."
"Are you sure?"
"Absolutely," I said, "It's like miles and kilometers. You know, like how many kilometers we make when we do seventy miles in the car?"
"Oh," he said.
But his gaze at the foot of the bed relaxed slowly. The hold over himself relaxed too, finally, and the next day it was very slack and he cried very easily at little things that were of no importance.
vi. shake, tremble, esp. from cold or fear 战栗，发抖
n. (often pl.) advice on how to do sth.; order 用法说明；指示
n. a medicine to produce bowel movements 泻药
a. sour; marked by an abnormally high concentration of a sour substance 酸的；酸性物质过多的
n. a contagious disease which is like a bad cold but more serious 流行性感冒
n.& a. (disease) spreading rapidly among many people in the same place for a time 流行病（的）
n. (short for) influenza
n. a serious illness with inflammation of one or both lungs 肺炎
a. indifferent; separate, not connected 超然的；冷漠的；分离的
n. a person who attacks and robs ships at sea 海盗
a. unable to think clearly or move steadily as during fever or after drinking alcohol; dizzy and faint 神志不清的；眩晕的
vt. order or give(sth.) as a medicine or treatment for a sick person 开（药）
n. a mixture of rain and snow; rain that freezes as it falls 雨夹雪；冻雨
n. rough low-growing bushes; small branches broken off from trees 矮灌木丛；断落的树枝
vt. cover (sth.) with a smooth appearance
n. a type of dog with red hair; a hunting dog 塞特狗
n. a small stream
a. like glass, esp. (of water) smooth and shining
vi. slide unsteadily 不稳地滑动
v. (cause to) move smoothly along a surface （使）滑动
v. drive (birds) up from the trees or bushes so as to shoot; (of birds) fly up suddenly （使）（鸟）惊飞
(sides of the face) become rosy or reddened by a sudden flow of blood to the face （脸）发红
n. a small flock or group (of small birds) 一小群（鸟）
quail (pl. quail or quails)
n. a kind of small bird, valued as food 鹌鹑
v. hang over or stand out over 悬于……之上，突出于……之上
light (lit or lighted)
vi. land and settle 停落
vi go off in all directions 散开
n. small hill; a large pile of earth, stones, etc. 土墩
a. covered with ice; extremely cold
a. flexible (as a spring moving up and down)有弹性的
vt. start; begin
n. a instrument for measuring and snowing temperature 温度计
ad. completely; certainly
vi. look long and steadily 凝视
a. not tense; relaxed 松弛的；放松的
PHRASES & EXPRESSIONS
reduce; cause to fall 减少，降低
be detached from
show no interest in, be indifferent to
would prefer to; would prefer that 宁愿
out of sight
unable to be seen
prevent oneself from (doing sth.); stop (doing sth.)
take it easy
not to work too hard; not to worry too much 不紧张，不急
hold tight onto oneself
keep firm control over oneself