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大学英语精读第三册01

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Unit One

 

 

Click the button to listen to the text

 

 

A young man finds that strolling along the streets
without an obvious purpose can lead to trouble with the
law. One misunderstanding leads 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
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
lived. I was looking for a temporary job so that I could save up some money
to go traveling. 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.

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
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.


`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
conversational tone I could manage. I thus appeared to them to be quite
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
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
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 defense in court, but as soon as my father
found out what had happened, he hired a very good solicitor. We went
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
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
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 'brilliant academic
record' .

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
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.

 


 

Click the button to listen to the pronunciations of new words

 

 

 

New Words

 

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

court n.
法院;法庭

arbitrary a.
based on one's own opinion only, not on reason 任意的,武断的(usu. pl.)

circumstance n.
conditions, facts, etc. connected 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) n .
crime; the hurting of feelings; something un-pleasant 罪行;冒犯;不愉快的事

straight face
a face or expression that shows no emotion, humor, 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 traditional 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

thoroughly ad.
completely; in every way 完全地,彻底地

thorough a.
having or showing a bad character;

disreputable a.
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 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

defense (AmE defense) n.
the act of defending in court the person 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 criminal 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 hat 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.

complaint n.

reproachfully ad.
speak in an unhappy, annoyed, dissatisfied way 抱怨 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,几(个);一对

save up
keep for future use; put money away in

 
the form of savings 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
里士满(英国地名)

Richmond Magistrates'
Court
里士满地方法院


 

 

 

 

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