terça-feira, 14 de dezembro de 2010

"A Christmas Carol" by Charles Dickens (chapter four)

The Third Ghost
Finally, the ghost took Scrooge home and, as he disappeared, the church clock rang midnight.
At once a new ghost appeared, much more frightening than the other two. It was covered from head to toe in a long, black coat.
'You' re The Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come,' said Scrooge nervously.
The dark ghost said nothing and did not move.
'I imagine you've going to show me the things which haven't happened yet,' Scrooge said, looking at the strange ghost.
The ghost silently moved its head a little, and pointed with its hand.
Scrooge suddenly found himself in the middle of the City of London. He saw many of the people he worked with every day, changing, buying and selling money.
The ghost stopped and pointed to some men standing together talking.
'l don't know what happened. I only know he's dead,' said the first man.
'What's he done with his money?' asked the second man.
'He didn't give it to me!' said the first man, laughing.
'His funeral will be very cheap,' said another man.
'Why?' asked the second man.
'He had no friends. Nobody will go,' answered the first man.
Scrooge did not understand why the ghost wanted him to listen to this conversation, but he knew the ghost did not answer questions, so he did not ask.
He looked around trying to see himself, but on the corner where he usually stood at this time there was another man doing business.
Next the ghost took him to a bad part of London which he had never been to before.
The streets were smll and dark and full of the poorest people. They went into a dirty shop full of every horrible old thing you can imagine -metal, bones, books, clothes...
Scrooge watched as three people brought things to sell to the shopkeeper. They were from the same dead man's house.
The first had some small things: buttons and a pencil-case.
'He doesn't need these now,' said the first woman pointing to the towels, silver teaspoons and boots she had.
'Look, Joe,' said the other woman, showing the bed curtains and blankets she had taken from the dead man's bed.
'Is this shirt from the dead body?' asked Joe.
'Yes,' she answered. 'He doesn't need a new shirt now he's dead.'
This could happen to me when I die, thought Scrooge.
Suddenly, Scrooge found himself in another terrible room. It was very dark, with just a little light coming through the window.
There was a bed with no curtains on it, and on the bed, a dead body covered by a sheet.
The ghost pointed to the body, as silent as ever.
Scrooge looked.Who was this dead man? Why were there no friends or family there to cry over the body, to feel sad that he had died?
The ghost still pointed. Scrooge understood it wanted him to look at the face of the dead man, but he could not.
'l cannot look at this man's face,' said Scrooge. 'But if there's anybody in London who feels something because this man is dead, show them to me.'
The ghost took Scrooge into another room.
A woman stood up nervously when her husband came in.
'Is there any news?' she asked.
'When l went to ask him if we could pay the money one week later,' he said, 'an old woman told me he was dead.'
'That's good news,' she said. I'm sorry. l mean that now we have time to get the money we have to pay.'
'No, ghost!' said Scrooge. 'l want to see someone who's sorry about a death, not someone who's happy because of one!'
The ghost took him to Bob Cratchit’s house. He saw the Cratchit family sitting quietly around the fire. They were talking about Tiny Tim.
'l met Mr Scrooge's nephew, Fred,' said Bob, 'and he said he was very sorry to hear about Tiny Tim.'
Bob turned to his family: 'Let's never forget what a good, gentie boy he was, even if he was just a little child.'
'No, never father!' shouted all the children.
'Tell me, ghost,' said Scrooge. 'Who was the dead man we saw?'
The ghost took him to a churchyard. It was a dark place with the walls of houses all around and no flowers on the graves.
The ghost pointed to one grave.
'Before I look,' said Scrooge, 'tell me if the things we've seen are things which will definitely happen, or only things which may happen?'
The ghost stood in silence.
Scrooge looked at the name on the grave. It said EBENEZER SCROOGE.
'Was I the dead man?' he asked.
The ghost pointed to the grave, then at Scrooge.

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