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@ 2007-11-10 15:43:13

A move story...<The Right Son at the Right Time>


      The story began on a downtown Brooklyn street corner.An elderly man had collapsed while crossing the street,and an ambulance rushed him to Kings County Hospital.There,when he came to now and again,the man repeatedly called for his son.

      From a worn letter located in his pocket,an emergency-room nurse learned that his son was a Marine stationed in North Carolina.Apparently there were no other relatives.

      Someone at the hospital called the Red Cross office in Brooklyn,and a request for the boy to rush to Brooklyn was sent to the Red Cross director of the North Carolina Marine Corps camp.Because time was short---the patient was dying ---the Red Cross man and an officer set out in an army vehicle.They found the young man walking through some marshes in a military exercise.He was rushed to the airport in time to catch the sole plane that might enable him to reach his dying father.

      It was dusk when the young Marine walked into the entrance lobby of Kings Country Hospital. A nurse took the tiired,anxious serviceman to the bedside.

      "Your son is here,"she said to the old man.She had to repeat the words several times before the patient's eyes opened.the medicine he had been given because of the pain from his heart attack made his eyes weak and only dimly saw the young man in Marine Corps uniform standing outside the oxygen tent.He extended his hand.The Marine wrapped his strong fingers around the old man's limp ones,squeezing a message of love and encouragement.The nurse brought a chair,so the Marine could sit by the bed.

       Nights are long in hospitals,but all through the night the young Marine sat there in the dimly-lit ward,holding the old man's hand and offering words of hope and strength.Occasionally,the nurse urged the Marine to rest for a while.He refused.

        Whenever   the nurse came into the ward,the Marine was there,but he paid no attention to her and the night noises of the hospital--the banging of an oxygen tank,the laughter of the night staff exchanging greetings,the cries and moans and breathing of other patiients.Now and then she heard him say a few gentle words.The dying mansaid nothing,only held tightly to his son through most of the night.

         It was nearly dawn when the patient died.The Marine placed the lifeless hand he had been holding on the bed,and went to inform the nurse.While she did what she had to do,he smoked a cigarette,his fiirst since he got to the hospital.

         Finally,she returned to the nurse's station,where he was waiting.She started to offer words of sympathhy ,but the Marine interrupted her."Who was that man?"he asked.

        "He was your father,"she answered,startled.

        "No,he wasn't,"the Marine replied."I never saw him before in my life."

        "Why didn't you say something when I took you to him?"the nurse asked.

        "I knew immediatedly there'd been a mistake,but I also knew he needed his son,and his son just wasn't here.When I realized he was too sick to tell whether or not I was his son,I guesses he really needed me.So I stayed."

         With that,the Marine turned and exited the hospital.Two days later a message came in from the North Carolina Marine Corps base informing the Brooklyn Red Cross that the real son was on his way to Brooklyn for his father's funeral.It turned out there had been two Matines with the same name and similar numbers in the camp.Someone in the personnel office had pulled out the wrong record.

         But the wrong Marine had become the right son at the right time.And he proved, in a very human way,that there are people who care what happens to their fellow men.


译文: 故事发生在一个布鲁克林闹市区街道的一个拐角处,一位老翁在过马路时晕倒,救护车随后赶到,并把他紧急送往金斯县医院,在那里老人情况很不稳定,在清醒后又时常进入昏迷状态,嘴里却不断叫唤着自己的儿子.