Unit 12 Killing Time……………………………………193
This was a common place for me but today I discerned there was something wrong when I turned around. Wrong means not right. There were two men in the bank now, a big guy just inside the door and a smaller one more like a skeleton in the middle of the floor.
Big guy was leafing through the leaflets on the counter, but his eyes were on the door and the eyes of the small guy never stopped moving and were scouting the scope and layout of the room, his head moved like that of a tennis fan sitting at the net.
Small guy was making a thing of deciding which queue to join, but it was the way he stood that held my attention. His left arm was tight against his body and he was wearing a long coat. Nothing wrong with that, it was winter.
Still wrong. It’s transparent to me that he was carrying a weapon. On closer observation, big guy was likewise sort of leaning against the counter and in an instant I knew that he was using his weight to jam his gun between him and the counter. A robbery was about to happen.
If I attacked the small guy, I’d be easily picked off by the big guy as I struggled to get small guy’s gun. If I walked casually by, and seized the big guy, the small guy would shoot the customers around him and take some nice-looking teller(银行出纳) as a hostage.
The situation was urgent. It was better to leave and call for immediate assistance. Assistance? I wasn’t a soldier any more. I had been retired. Better to call the police, as normal people do. I could be anonymous then.
As I walked by, the small guy started to move. He swung back his coat and revealed a pistol and started to yell, "Attention, everyb--!" The small guy was too busy to finish the second word.In the instant an idea flashed into my mind,"why the big coat for such a small gun", then thought "winter" again.
Fortunately for me, it was not I that stopped him but a keen security guard who’d obviously seen the same signs I had. Fortunate for me, but unfortunate for the security-man. He hadn’t noted that the big guy was an accomplice(同伙). After an interval of a few seconds,he fired a pistol at the back of the guard’s head as he walked over to check on the dead small guy. He fell on the body of the small guy, blood streamed down from his wound.
Big guy stood there, momentarily as if deciding what to do. His eyes were a little wild but not scared. I thought again about rushing at him, but the distance was too great. Better to wait. All around me, people were screaming and moaning in shock and some people were already lying on the ground, anticipating the big guy’s next instruction. The screaming did not bother him, which was both good and bad. It was good because the cool gunman was unlikely to shoot unnecessarily and bad because he would shoot without pausing if the situation required it.
It seemed there was chaos in the place. The only ones standing silent were him and me. For a moment, our eyes met and gazed at each other. Did he know me? How could he? The sound of the approaching alarms broke our gaze and the big guy calmly and loudly instructed everybody to lie on the floor. I did as he bade, but taking as many steps forward as I dared before lying down. I was no more than five yards from him.
He gave an imperative order, "If everybody does what I say, no one will get hurt. This is just a robbery gone wrong and I want to use you good people as hostages so that I can get away!" He didn’t have to say any more than that. We’d all seen in perspective what had happened and knew he could kill some of us. The "hostage" in his short speech made it clear that he was saying he would threaten to kill hostages if his demands were not met.
The police arrived and contact was made straight away. He said that he would kill a hostage every ten minutes until he was given a clear passage to the private airways strip, where a helicopter was to take him to Cuba(古巴). He would bring hostages along with him as insurance against any unpredictable(不可预测的) trouble.
As the first ten-minute deadline approached, the big guy scanned the hostages in front of him.His eyes touched mine, but he moved on, looking for something. "You! Kid!" Everybody looked back and saw a boy, about ten years old, cowering behind his mother. "Get over here! Get over here, NOOOW!" shouted the big guy, as the boy cowered further.
I could see he would act for the ultimate aim--to kill a kid and to make them know he was serious. I couldn’t let the tragedy(悲剧) happen. Could I hide and wait and let all this happen and walk away? All my training said I could. "Bad things will happen around you", said the Controller.
"Terrible things. But if it doesn’t happen to you,it’s not your liability to stop them. " I had seen terrible things and walked away. But not today.
"Take me", I said, standing up and making another vital step forward. "Leave the kid and take me". Everybody looked at me, some of them taking me for a suicidal (自杀的) person and thought it was a movie. This is really happening, their eyes said to me, for God’s sake,to sit down before he would kill you.
It was too late. “OK, come here by the door and kneel in front of it”. He said this as if he was a surgeon inviting a patient into his surgery. "Were you in the army?" He asked casually as I walked towards him. "No", I replied. This had to be quick. I would have no chance to seize him when I was kneeling at the front door.
"You’re saving me from the trouble", I said, casually setting his mind at ease so that he needn’t worry about my last-minute efforts for freedom. If he were wary(警惕的) of me, he would not take his eyes off me. In the instant he turned to walk with me towards the door, I had my arm around his neck. It broke like a toothpick(牙签) and he died instantly.
He didn’t even get a shot off. It was done at one stroke without noise and he slumped into the floor. I turned around to see people looking at me horrified. I knew then that I had killed him too easily, too quickly.
One of the tellers picked up the phone and spoke to the police. Suddenly the place was overrun(占据) with uniforms. Eventually, we were all shepherded to waiting police cars and moved down-town to the station house.
I was ushered(引导) into an interview room. They showed me the close circuit TV coverage(闭路电视录像) of the incident in the bank and I made a statement corroborating(证实) what had happened. "You are being charged with murder," said the detective whose name I could not remember,"but this evidence should show that it was self-defense(自卫)". Well, anyway, I was fighting against almost certain death, and they were the same thing. I didn’t argue.
"You served in the military?" He asked. He was looking at me carefully. I got the impression that the boys(此处引申为警察) in the room had seen the tape and were guessing how I could have overpowered(制服) the big guy so completely. "No", I replied, not knowing what to say next. I was good at killing. Could I say that?
"Chickens," I said.
"What did you say?"
"Chickens. I’ve killed lots of chickens on my farm. When they’re dying. You get to know where their weak points are. And I’ve strong hands. " These hands have ripped open rib cages and pulled out beating hearts, I wanted to say.
I made bail(保释金) of 10 000 and my husband came and collected me. "Next time you go to town, I’m going with you", he said, "it’s too dangerous for you to travel alone. " Yes, it is really too dangerous.内容来自 听力课堂网：http://www.tingclass.net/show-8583-247270-1.html