Unit One    
               
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A young man finds that strolling along the streets without an obvious purpose can lead to trouble with the law. One misunderstanding laads to another until eventually he must appear in court for trial...
                         A BRUSH WITH THE LAW              
                                  
          I have only once been in trouble  with the law.  The  whole  process  of
    being arrested and taken to court was a rather  unpleasant experience at   the
    time, but it makes a good story now. What  makes it rather   disturbing  was
    the arbitrary  circumstances  both of  my arrest  and my subsequent  fate  in
5  court.  


         It  happened  in  February about   twelve years ago. I  had  left  school  a
    couple of months  before that and  was not due to go to   university until  the
    following October. I was still living at home at the time.


         One morning I  was  in   Richmond, a  suburb  of  London  near  where I
10 lived.I was looking for a temporary job so that I could save up some  money
     to go travelling. As  it  was a fine  day   and  I  was in no hurry, I  was taking
     my  time, looking  in shop  windows,   strolling in the  park,  and  sometimes
     just  stopping  and looking around me. It must have been this obvious  aim-
     lessness that led to my downfall.


15       It was about half past eleven when it   happened. I was  just  walking  out
     of  the local   library, having unsuccessfully   sought employment there, when
     I saw a man walking across the road  with  the   obvious  intention  of talking
     to me. I thought he was going to ask  me the  time. Instead, he  said  he  was
     a police officer and he  was  arresting  me. At   first  I  thought  it  was  some
20 kind of  joke. But then another policeman appeared, this time in uniform, and  
     was left in no doubt.
              ` But what for? ' I asked.
              `Wandering with intent to commit an arrestable offence, ' he said.
              ` What offence? ' I asked .
25          `Theft, ' he said.
              ` Theft of what? ' I asked .
              `Milk bottles, ' he said, and with a perfectly straight face too!
              `Oh, ' I said.
               It   turned  out   there  had  been a  lot  of   petty   thefts   in  the  area,
      particularly 30  that of stealing milk bottles from doorsteps.


               Then  I  made my  big  mistake. At  the  time  I was nineteen, had long
     untidy  hair, and  regarded myself as part of the sixties'` youth counterculture'.
      As a result, I wanted to appear cool and unconcerned   with the incident,  so
      I said, ` How long have you 'been  following   me?' in  the  most  casual and
35  conversational tone I could  manage. I thus  appeared to them  to   be  qtuite
     familiar with this sort of situation, and it confirmed  them   in  their belief  that
     I was  a  thoroughly  disreputable   character.
            A  few   minutes  later  a  police  car arrived.
            `Get in the back, ' they said. `Put your  hands on  the  back of  the  front
40 seat and don't move them. '
           They got in on either side of me. It wasn't funny any more.


           At the  police station   they questioned  me  for  several hours. I continued
     to try to look worldly and au  fait  with  the   situation. When  they  asked  me
     what  I  had  been  doing,  I  told   them  I'd  been looking for a job. ` Aha, ' I
45 could see them thinking, `unemployed '.
           Eventually, I  was   officially  charged  and  told  to  report  to   Richinond
     Magistrates' Court the following Monday. Then they let me go.


           I wanted to conduct my own defence in court, but as soon as rny   father
    found  out  what  had  happened, he  hired   a  very  good  solicitor. We  went
50 along that Monday armed with  all  kinds  of  witnesses,   including my English
    teacher from school  as a  character  witness. But  he was  never  called on  to
    give  evidence. My `trial'  didn't  get  that   far. The  magistrate  dismissed  the
    case  after  fifteen  minutes. I was  free. The   poor  police  had  never stood a
    chance. The solicitor even succeeded  in  getting  costs   awarded  against  the
55 police.


          And so I do not have a criminal record. But what  was  most  shocking  at
    the time was the things my release  from  the  charge   so clearly  depended  on.
    I had  the  `right'  accent,  respectable   middle-class  parents  in  court, reliable
    witnesses,and I could obviously afford a very good solicitor.Given the obscure
60 nature of the charge,I feel sure that if I had come from a different  background,
    and had  really  been  unemployed,  there is   every  chance  that  I  would  have
     been found guilty. While asking for costs to  be   awarded,  my solicitor's case
    quite   obviously  revolved  around  the   fact  that  I  had  a 'bril-liant  academic
    record' .


65      Meanwhile,  just  outside  the   courtroom, one of  the  policemen  who  had
    arrested  me  was  gloomily complaining  to my   mother that another  youngster
    had  been  turned  against  the  police. 'You   could have been a bit more helpful 
    when   we arrested you,' he said to me reproachfully.


          What did he mean? Presumably that I should have looked outraged and said
70 something like, ' Look here, do you know who you're talking to? I am  a   highly
    successful student with a  brilliant  academic  record. How dare  you  arrest  me!'
     Then  they,  presumably,  would   have    apologized,  perhaps  even  taken  off
     their caps, and let me on my way. 

      
                           New Words           
                       

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    brush/ n.                                      brief fight or encounter 小冲突;小接触    
   process / n.                                 course;  method,  esp.  one  used  in 
                                                                manufacture 过程;制作法   
   court / n.                                     法院;法庭      
   arbitrary / a.                                 based on one's own opinion only, not 
                                                                on reason 任意的,武断的
   circumstance / n.                         (usu. pl.) conditions,  facts,  etc.  
                                                                conneeted with an event or person 
                                                                 情况,环境  
   subsequent / a.                            following, later  随后的,接下去的
   fate/ n.                                        what will happen or happened to sb. or 
                                                                 sth.   命运   
   due / a.                                        expected; supposed (to)预期的;约定的;到期的
                                       
   temporary / a.                              lasting only for a limited time 暂时的
   stroll / vi.                                     walk at leisure 
     obvious / a.                                 easily seen or understood;clear 明显的;显而易见的
                                       
   downfall/ n.                                  ruin 垮台;衰落
   employment / n.                           one's regular work or occupation; job 
                                                           职业;工作  
   wander / vi.                                  move about without a purpose 闲逛;漫游  
   commit/ vt.                                  do (sth. wrong, bad, or unlawful) 
                                                            干(坏事),犯(错误) 
   arrestable / a.                               deserving to be arrested 
     offence / (AmE offense)               crime; the hurting of feelings; something  
            n .                                                un-pleasant 罪行;冒犯;不愉快的事 
   straight face                                 a face or expression  that  shows  no  	
                                                                emotion, hu- mor, or thought板着的脸
   petty / a.                                     small ; unimportant 小的;不足道的   
   doorstep /n.                                a step in front of a door 
     regard / vt.                                  consider in the stated way 
                                                                把…看作;把…认为
   counterculture / n.                       a culture,esp.of the young who oppose 	
                                                               the tra-ditional standards and customs
                                                               of their society 反主流文化
   unconcerned/ a.                          not worried; untroubled; indifferent
                                                             无忧虑的;淡漠的 
   casual / a.                                   careless; informal 漫不经心的;随便的
   conversational / a.                       of or commonly used in talking 会话(用)的
   belief / n.                                    something believed; trust 相信;信念;信仰
   thoroughlg / ad.                          completely;in every way 完全地,彻底地              
     thorough/ a.    
     disreputable/ a.                           having or showing  a  bad  character;  	
                                                             having a bad name 声名狼籍的
   worldly/ a.                                  experienced in the  ways  of  society 
                                                       老于世故的
   au fait / a.                                   (F) familiar 熟悉的;精通的
   aha /a.ha:/ int.                             a cry of surprise, satisfaction, etc.
                                                      啊哈!  
   magistrate / n.                            civil officer acting as a judge in the
                                                             lowest courts 地方法官 	
   conduct / vt.                              direct the course of; manage 处理;主持;引导 
     defence  (AmE defense)             the act of defending in court the person 	
               n.                                           who has  been charged 辩护
   solicitor / n.                               (esp. in Britain) lawyer who advises  	
                                                             clients on legal matters and speaks on  
                                                             their behalf in lower courts (初级)律师
   witness / n.	                             a person who gives evidence in a court 	
                                                             of law; sth. serving as  evidence  or
                                                             proof 证人;证据
   trial/ n.                                      the act  or  fact  of  examining  and 
                                                            deciding a civil or eriminal case by 
                                                            a law court 审判
   dismiss / vt.                              (of a judge) stop (a court case)驳回,
                                      对…不予受理
   cost/ n.                                     (pl.)the cost of having a matter settled  	
                                                               in a law court. esp. that paid to the  
                                                               winning party by the losing party 诉讼费
     award / vt.                                give by a decision in a court of law; 
                                                               give or grant by an official decision 
                                                               判给;授予   
   accent/ n.                                  way of speaking typical of the natives  
                                                              or resi- dents of a region, or of any 
                                                              other group 口音;腔调		
   respectable / a.                          deserving respect 值得尊敬的
   reliable / a.                                 that may be relied or  depended  upon 
                                       	                      可靠的,可信赖的		
   given/ prep.                               taking into  account; if  allowed  or 
                                                              provided with 考虑的;假定
   obscure / a.                               not clearly seen or understood 模糊的;晦涩的
     guilty / a.                                   having broken a law;showing or feeling  			
                                                           that one has done wrong 有罪的;内疚的
   revolve / v.                                (cause to) go round in a circle
                                                           (使)旋转
   brilliant / a.                                causing great admiration or satisfaction; 
                                                              splendid 辉煌的;卓越的		
   courtroom n.                             a room where a law court is held 审判室
   meanwhile/ ad.                          during the same period of time 同时
   gloomily / ad.                            depressedly, dejectedly 忧郁地,沮丧地
   complain / vi.                            speak in an unhappy,annoyed, dissatisfied 
                                                             way 抱怨			
     complaint / n. 
     reproachfully / ad.                     责备地
   presumably / ad.                        probably 
     outrage / vt.                              arouse anger or resentment by injury 
                                                            or insult 引起…的气愤
   successful /a.                             having done what one has tried to do; 
                                                             having gained a high position in life, 
                                                             one's job, etc. 成功的;有成就的
   apologize / vi.                            say one is sorry 道歉,谢罪
       apology / n. 	
                              
                                 Phrases & Expressions      
                        
     take sb. to court                      start an action in law against sb. 对
                                      某人提出诉讼
   a couple of	                          (informal) a small number of, a few, 
                                                             usually two 少数,();一对 
   save up	                           keep for future use; put money away in  	
                                                             the form of sav- ings 储蓄
   take one's time                        do sth. in  a leisurely  manner;  not 
                                                             hurry 慢慢来,不着急 
   at first                                    at the beginning 起先
   turn out                                  prove to be 结果;证明是
   call on                                    ask (sb.) to do sth. esp. formally 要求
   stand a chance                        have an opportunity; be likely to do 
                                                             or get sth. 有机会,有希望 
   revolve around                        have as a center or main subject
     turn against                             (cause to) oppose, be hostile to
	                          
                                               Proper Names          
                                     
   Richmond /'ritf mand/                       里士满(英国地名)
   Richmond Magistrates' Court            里士满地方法院 
       

 

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