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新视野大学英语读写教程第四册unit6-c Section C The Cunning Smuggler

所属教程:新视野大学英语读写教程第四册

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The Cunning Smuggler

You may suppose that national borders are nothing to get excited about. However, Canada and the United States are very proud of theirs. These two countries share a common border that runs for thousands of kilometers, with not a single soldier along the way. Still, although there are no soldiers at the border, there are customs officers. Sometimes trucks try to cross the border with hidden drugs. Sometimes, moreover, ordinary tourists attempt to smuggle an extra bottle of alcohol. There is no difference for the customs officers; to them, all smugglers are the same, big or small. Their job is to prevent anyone from taking goods across the border illegally.

Constant struggles between smugglers and customs officers have influenced our way of thinking about this matter. It may not be fair, but many people forget the valuable services the officers perform. When this happens, the conflict may seem funny, although the officers always take their job seriously. One such conflict is said to have occurred on the famous bridge at Niagara Falls. There was a truck driver who often crossed the border for his work. Every time he reached the bridge, he had to stop his truck. He always had to show the officers all his papers. Sometimes he would be obliged to wait a long time, and on occasion the officers even unloaded his entire truck! These delays annoyed him a lot, especially because he never carried any illegal items. The truck driver did not see why he should be bothered just because other people broke the law. For many years he put up with this nuisance, but he planned to get even. When he finally retired, he put his plan into effect.

Three or four days after the driver had made his last truck journey over the bridge, the officers saw him again. This time he had no truck; he was riding a bicycle! It was a beautiful racing bicycle. The truck driver was very fit. He rode quickly, making big circles in the parking lot near the border crossing. He made sure all the customs officers could see him. Then he presented himself at the border.

"Well, old friend," said one of the officers. "What can we do for you, now you are retired?"

"The same as before," he replied. "I'm going to the other side. Check my papers and let me pass."

Now it should be said that this bicycle had one unusual feature: on each handlebar the man had hung a bucket full of sand. This was a very strange thing to do! Of course, the officers noticed it immediately. One of them called the man over to him.

"You can go through," he said, "but first I'll have to check your cargo." He looked through all the sand, but there was nothing to be seen. A little disappointed, the officer sent the retired truck driver across the border.

The customs officers laughed among themselves at the driver's strange behavior. Then they forgot about him. But only an hour later, he was back. He wanted to return to his own side of the border. He was still riding a bicycle, and he still had the buckets of sand. Another officer checked the sand. Nothing again. The man rode home happily. And this same peculiar scene was acted out twice a day, every day, for more than a year. The customs officers tried everything. They put the sand in water, to see if something was mixed with it. Then they began searching the man's pockets every time he crossed. Finally, they even had the bicycle X-rayed, to find out if anything was hidden inside. Nothing was ever found. Most of the officers ended up believing that the truck driver was simply pulling their leg. They thought he was smuggling (走私) nothing, and just playing a joke on them.

However, one officer was never convinced. To him, there was surely a mystery in the man's behavior. He knew it; only, he could not figure it out. Because it was embarrassing to fail every time, he stopped checking the man when he crossed. But he watched him. And he was certain that one day he would understand.

Eventually the officer's retirement arrived, and he too stopped working. Unlike the truck driver, he did not take up riding a bicycle. Nevertheless, he stayed near the bridge. He liked fishing. Most afternoons he threw his line into the Niagara River not far from the post where he had worked all his life. At length, the inevitable happened. The man came riding along the river road to the place where the customs officer was fishing. He got off his bicycle. For a short time, both men looked out over the river towards the great bridge. Then the officer said, "All right. I give up. It's over now, anyway; so, you can tell me. What in the world were you smuggling in that sand?"

"Nothing at all," said the retired truck driver.

"You mean, you just did it to get on our nerves?"

"Not for a moment. I was smuggling all the time. But you were never clever enough to catch me."

"It's too much," exclaimed the officer. "I knew it! I knew it! But how did you hide your illegal goods?"

"Hide it? That's just the point, I didn't hide anything at all."

"Impossible! We checked everything. What were you smuggling?"

"Bicycles."

Words: 900

    狡猾的走私者
    你可能认为国境线没有什么了不起的。 然而加拿大和美国却很为两国的边界自豪。 两国有几千公里的共同边界,在这条边界线上没有一个巡逻的士兵。 虽然没有巡逻兵,却有海关工作人员。 有时,有货车藏着毒品企图过境, 有时也有普通的旅游者试图偷带一瓶酒出境。 在海关官员看来,这些事没什么不同,所有的走私者都一样是走私,只不过数额有大有小而已。 他们的工作就是阻止任何人非法运送货物出入境。
    走私者与海关官员之间经常发生的冲突影响了人们对这件事的看法。 这不太公正,但很多人还是会忽略海关官员所作的宝贵贡献。 发生这种情况的时候,尽管海关官员始终恪尽职守,冲突会略显滑稽。 据说在著名的尼亚加拉瀑布大桥那儿就发生过这样一次冲突。 有一个卡车司机,他的工作需要他经常穿越边境。 每次到达大桥,他就得停车,向海关官员出示各种证件, 有时还得等上老半天。间或海关官员还要他卸车检查。 因为他从未携带过非法物品,这种种耽搁尤其使他恼火。 他不明白,别人违法,为何自己也要受烦扰。 这么多年来,他一直忍着这种麻烦,但他决定报复。 等到终于退休了,他便开始实行这一计划。
    他最后一次驾着卡车过境之后三四天,他又出现在海关人员面前。 这回他没有开车,而是骑着辆自行车! 那是辆漂亮的赛车。 那个卡车司机身体很棒,他骑得很快,在过境处的停车场绕了几大圈。 他确信所有的海关官员都看到了他,然后来到了过境处。
    "喂,老朋友,"一个海关官员说,"你已退休了,还有什么要效劳的吗?"
    "跟以前一样,"他答道,"我要过境,请检查证件,让我过去。"
    这里该提一下的是,这辆车有个独特之处: 车把两边各挂着满满一桶沙。 这太奇怪了! 海关官员当然马上就注意到了。 司机被叫了过去。
    "你可以过去," 他说,"但先得检查你的货。" 他翻看了这些沙,却没发现什么。 海关官员有点失望,就让这退休司机过了境。
    海关官员们对司机的这一奇怪举动感到好笑,后来也就忘了。 但才过了一小时,这司机又返回来了。 他要过边境回去。 他仍然骑着一辆车,带着两桶沙。 另一海关官员检查了沙,还是没发现什么。 司机高兴地骑车回了家。 此后的一年里,这一同样的古怪现象每天出现两次,天天如此。 海关官员用尽了一切手段。 他们把沙浸入水中看看里面是否混有什么东西。 他们每次都要搜查司机的衣袋, 最后甚至还用X光检查自行车,想看看是否在车内藏着什么。 他们始终未发现任何东西。 最终大多数海关官员认为这司机不过是想捉弄他们一番。 他并没走私,只是跟他们开个玩笑而已。
    然而有一个海关官员始终不信。 他认为司机的行为一定有秘密。 他明知如此,却猜不透。 一次次检查都找不出什么,这挺令人尴尬的,他也就不再在那司机过境时检查了。 不过他仍留意着这司机,相信自己总有一天会明白的。
    最后,这个海关官员也到了退休年龄,也要停止工作了。 与卡车司机不同,他没有开始骑车运动,但他也没远离大桥,他喜欢钓鱼。 大多数日子的下午,他在距自己工作了一辈子的地方不远的尼亚加拉河里钓鱼。 该发生的事情终于发生了。 司机沿河骑着车来到了他钓鱼的地方,下了车。 有一小会儿,两人都望着河上的大桥。 海关官员说:"好了,我认输,不管怎样,这事过去了,现在你可以告诉我了。 你那沙中到底有什么?"
    "什么也没有," 退休卡车司机说。
    "你是说你这样做就只是为了烦扰我们?"
    "才不是呢,我一直在走私。 不过你们不够聪明,从未抓住我。"
    "这太过分了," 海关官员叹道,"我知道的!我知道的! 但你的违法东西是怎么藏的?"
    "藏?算你问到点子上了。我什么也没藏。"
    "不可能!我们什么都查了。 你走私什么?"
    "自行车。"
 

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