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A Story of the West 西部的故事

A Story of the West 西部的故事

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A Story of the West The West of the United States can always remind people of the pioneers, the cowboys, the gold rush and the land rush. Do you know any figures who were typical examples of dwellers in that special area ? Well, here is a story about two famous characters in the gold-rush days. It has been over 350 years since the first settlements in the United States were made by Europeans. People can now look back upon the country’s history and the old colorful figures who, in a sense, typified a given area. The story that follows concerns two famous characters who were part of the Rocky Mountain gold-rush days. The West is traditionally the land of glamour and romance in America —the land of the pioneers and the cowboys, of the gold rush and the land rush, where fortunes could be easily made and lost and made again in cattle or land or mining. Now much of the country is enclosed by fences, the covered wagon has been replaced by the automobile and modern cities have taken the place of frontier settlements. The cabins of the pioneers and miners are gone. A few “old-time” cowboys remain, but many of the cowboys’ sons are students at a university or state agricultural school. There are still places, however, where the spirit of the old West remains. One of these is the mining town of Leadville, Colorado. Leadville is unique in being the

西部的故事 美国西部总是令人想起拓荒者、牛 仔、淘金热和土地热潮。你知道那片特 殊土地上有哪些典型的居住人物吗? 好吧,这儿有个关于淘金热中两个著名 人物的故事。

距第一批来到美国定居的欧洲人 已经有超过 350 年的时间了。现在人们 可以回头看这个国家的历史和古老的 丰富多彩的人物。在某种意义上,这些 人物是某个特定领域的代表人物。接下 来故事中所提及的可以说是洛基山淘 金时代的典型的两个人物。

美国西部一直是充满魅力和浪漫 的地方,属于拓荒者、牛仔、淘金热和 土地热潮。在这里,你会一夜暴富也能 倾家荡产,还可能靠着牛、土地或者矿 产东山再起。而现如今这里的大部分地 区都被篱笆围起来,大篷车被汽车取 代,现代大都市取代了边远地区当年拓 荒者和矿工的小木屋不见了,只留下一 些“旧时代”的牛仔,但他们的孩子都 在大学或州立的农业学校上学。即便如 此,能代表西部精神的地方依然存在, 其中之一便是科罗拉多州莱德维尔的 一个采矿小镇。

莱德维尔的独特之处在于他是美

highest city in the United States. It is located in the Rocky Mountains and is 10000 feet above sea levels. Its most unusual feature, however, is the living picture of the past which it preserves. Leadville is not really old in years. It has existed less than a century, but it recalls an episode in the history of West. When the town was in its heyday, as late as 1890, it had a population if some 40000 living in the wooden house of similar architecture. Now only about 5000 live there and occupy the old house. Many of the buildings are in disrepair and in need of paint, and since the town is close to the timberline, there is a certain bareness to its appearance apart from the drabness of its house. Nevertheless, there is a romantic glamour there. The big hotel, the Tabor Opera House, and even some of the notorious in the day when every citizen hoped to become a millionaire. Among the more colorful characters of Leadville’s golden age were H ,A, W Tabor and his second wife, Elizabeth McCourt, better known as “Baby Doe.” Their history is fast becoming one of the legends of the old West. Horace Austin Warner Tabor was a school-teacher in Vermont. With his first wife and two children he left Vermont by covered wagon in 1855 to homestead in Kansas. Perhaps he did not find farming to his liking, or perhaps he was tempted by rumors of fortunes to be made in Colorado mines. At any rate, a few years later he moved west to the small Colorado mining camp known as a California Gulch, which

国海拔最高的城市,坐落在海平面以上 10000 英尺的洛基山脉上。然而,这座 城市最不寻常的的特征恰恰能生动地 表现出它所保留的那段历史。莱德维尔 存在还不到一个世纪,但它却能唤起人 们对西部那段历史的回忆。这座城市全 盛时期最迟发生在在 1890 年期间,人 口达 40000,都住在与现代建筑风格相 似的木屋子里。现在只有大约 5000 人 住的老房子里。很多房屋长年失修,需 要粉刷修葺下。由于城镇很接近林木 线, 除了单调乏味外还显得光秃。 然而, 它有着浪漫的魔力——大旅馆、塔博尔 歌剧院,甚至还有些声名狼藉的酒吧依 旧在使用中。当时,所有的市民天天都 想成为百万富翁。

在莱德维尔黄金时期那些光彩的 人物中出彩的是 H, A,W,塔博尔和他的 第二任妻子, 伊丽莎白, 米克特 (因 “宝 贝多依”而更为出名) 。他们的事迹很 快成为了那个年代西部的传奇。贺拉 斯·奥斯汀·沃纳·塔博尔是佛蒙特州 的一名教师,在 1855 年,他和他的第 一任妻子还有两个孩子用一辆货车离 开了佛蒙特州,去堪萨斯州定居。也许 他发现种地不和他的意,又或许他被那 些传闻中的科罗拉多洲的矿山财富所 诱惑,无论如何,几年后,他搬到了西 边的一个被当作加州废物的科罗拉多 矿物营。后来,当他成为那里的领导市 民时,他将该地重命名为莱德维尔。他 说: “伟大的矿物榜样将要在这儿被发 现。 ”

he later renamed Leadville when he became its leading citizen. “Great deposits of lead are sure to be found here,” he said. As it turned out,it was silver, not lead, that was to make Leadville’ s fortune and his. Tabor knew little about mining himself,so he opened a general store , which sold everything from boots to salt , flour, and tobacco. It was his custom to“grubstake”prospective miners, in other words,to supply them with food and supplies, or “grub, ” while they looked for ore,in return for which he would get a share in the mine if one was discovered. He did this for a number of years,but no one that he aided ever found anything of value. Finally one day in the year 1878,so the story goes,two miners came in and asked for “grub.”Tabor had decided to quit supplying it because he had lost too much money that way. These miners were persistent,however,and Tabor was too busy to argue with them.“Oh, help yourself. One more time won’ t make any difference, ”he said and went on selling shoes and hats to other customers. The two miners took seventeen dollars’ worth of supplies,in return for which they gave Tabor a one-third interest in their findings. They picked a barren place on the mountain side and began to dig. After nine days they struck a rich vein of silver. Tabor bought the shares of the other two men , and so the mine belonged to him alone. This mine , known as “ the Pittsburg Mine, ”made $1300000 for 结果是,影响莱德维尔和他自己命 运的是银而不是铅。塔博尔自己不懂开 采矿石,所以他开了一间杂货铺,出售 包括从鞋子到食盐、面粉和烟草等所有 商品。为未来的矿工“投资”是他的习 惯,换句话说,为了回报在发现的矿里 面的分享所得,他在矿工们寻找矿石的 时候会提供给他们食物或其它所需要 的东西。这些年他一直这样做,然而他 所资助的人当中,却没有一个人发现任 何有价值的东西。

最后,据说事情是这样的, 1878 年的一天,两个矿工走进商店并请求采 矿资助。但塔博尔在这方面损失了大量 金钱,因此他已经决定放弃继续资助他 们??墒钦庑┛蠊ぶ匆庖笳庑?,塔博 尔太忙没时间与他们争论, “好吧,随 便你们。反正多投资一次也不会改变什 么, ”他说完又继续向其他顾客出售鞋 帽。作为回报,矿工承诺把所发现的财 富的三分之一分给塔博尔,因此得到了 价值 17 美元的物资供给。他们挑选了 山边一块贫瘠的土地并开始挖凿。九天 之后他们发现了一条矿脉,蕴含着丰富 的银。之后塔博尔从那两个矿工手里买 回其余的股份,于是便拥有了整条矿 脉。 这条他以 17 美元的投资换回了 130 万美元的矿脉就是日后人们所知的“匹 兹堡银矿” 。

Tabor in return for seventeen-dollar investment.

his

Later Tabor bought the Matchless Mine on another barren hillside just outside of the town for $117,000. This turned out to be even more fabulous than the Pittsburg, yielding $35,000 worth of silver per day at one time. Leadville grew Tabor became its first mayor, and later became lieutenant governor of the state. At this time he met Baby Doe, a beautiful young girl with blonde curls and big blue eyes. His wife had too many New England virtues. She was thrifty and carefully saved the money she earned from doing laundry for the miners. She was an excellent housekeeper. She kept things neat and tidy and made Tabor wipe his feet before entering the house. He gave her $1,200,000 as a divorce settlement and secretly married Baby Doe. Later he became United States senator, and they were married publicly in a big ceremony in Washington. Mr. Chester A. Arthur, President of the United States, attended. Tabor was 53 years old at the time, and Baby Doe was 21. The honeymoon cost $10,000 a day. As a wedding gift he gave her the famed Isabella Diamond, supposed to have been sold by Queen Isabella of Spain to pay for Columbus’ voyage on which he discovered America. Tabor bought himself a $250 nightshirt. Leadville was too small for the Tabors. They moved to Denver, where Tabor built the city a million-dollar opera house, then the finest between St. Louis and San

后来,塔博尔花了 11 万 7 千美元 在城镇外的另一座荒山上买了 马彻勒斯矿,而这 比匹兹堡矿带来更 多的财富,曾一度每天产出价值 3 万 5 千美元的银子。莱德维尔不断发展,塔 博尔也成了那儿的第一位市长,后来还 成为科罗拉多州的副州长。就在那时, 他遇见了宝贝多依,一个金发碧眼、年 轻貌美的姑娘。他的妻子身上有着新英 格兰人所具有的诸多品质。她很节俭, 尽力去省下为矿工们洗衣挣来的钱。她 是个很出色的家庭主妇 ,她总是把东西 整理得干干净净,整整齐齐,还让塔博 尔在进门之前将鞋底擦干净。塔博尔给 了她 120 万美元作为离婚赔偿并与宝贝 多依秘密结婚。后来,塔博尔成为了美 国的参议员,并在华盛顿公开举办了一 次盛大婚宴 , 美国总统切斯特? A ?阿瑟 也到场了。那时,塔博尔 53 岁而宝贝 多依才 21 岁。 他们俩蜜月的日消费为 1 万美元。他将负有盛名的伊莎贝拉钻石 赠给她作为结婚礼物。据称,这颗钻石 原本是由西班牙女王伊莎贝拉卖出以 支付哥伦布发现美洲大陆的航行费用。 塔博尔则为他自己买了一件 250 美元的 衬衫式长睡衣。

对塔博尔家族来说,莱德维尔太小 了。他们后来搬到了丹佛,在那儿,塔 博尔建了座价值百万美元的歌剧院,成 为了从圣路易斯到旧金山这片广袤之 地最好的歌剧院。但如今剧院早已却被

Francisco, but now torn down to make 拆毁,取而代之的是一座现代写字楼。 room for a modern office building. All went well until 1893, the year of the silver panic. The United states no longer used silver as a standard for coinage. With the price of silver down, Tabor could not afford to operate the Matchless Mine. He had spent all of his money in extravagant living and had to go to work as a day laborer in Denver. It is reported that one time when he and Baby Doe had nothing in the house to eat, his first wife, living comfortably on her $1,200,000, sent them a wagon load of food, enough to keep them all winter. During the last year of his life his friends got him a job as a clerk in the Denver post office, which his money has built. When he died in 1899, his last words to Baby Doe were “Hang on to the Matchless. It will make you a fortune.” Baby Doe did what Tabor told her, and she moved into a little shack at the entrance to the mine. The shack is still there. It has been repaired, but otherwise it is much as it was when she lived there. There is a cot, a table, and one or two chairs. A small coal stove sits in one corner. There is a Catholic altar against one wall, with some candles and a cross on it. Letters of Baby Doe’s, Which are preserved in a case at one side of the room, indicate that in her last years she seldom left the shack for fear that someone, would try to enter the mine. Friends brought her a small supply of food and coal. To keep track of time, she marked off the days on her calendar, which 一切都发展的很好,直到 1893 的 年经济?;?。美国不再使用白银作为标 准货币。由于白银价格下跌,塔博尔负 担不起开采马彻勒斯银矿的费用。他过 着奢侈的生活花光了所有的钱,不得不 在丹佛做了一个零时工。据说有一次他 和孩子在家没有东西吃,他那靠着一百 二十万美元过得很舒服的第一任妻子 送了他们满满一车的食物,足够他们过 完整个冬天。

在他生前最后一年他的朋友给他 在丹佛邮局找了一份工作以谋生。1899 年他去世的时候,留给他宝贝多依最后 一句话是: “留着马彻勒斯,它会给你 带来财富。 ”宝贝多依照着塔博尔的话 做了,她搬进了银矿入口处的一个小棚 屋。那个棚屋到现在还在那儿。它被维 修过,不过大多还是保留着她住在这儿 时的样子。一张帆布床,一张桌子,一 两张椅子,在一个角落有一个小煤炉。 一张天主教的祭台靠着一面墙放着,上 面有几根蜡烛和一个十字架。房间一侧 的盒子里放着她的信,从这些信可以看 出因为害怕有人会试图进入银矿,她晚 年很少离开这个棚屋。她的朋友们给她 带来少量的食物和煤炭。为了记录时 间,她在日历上划着日期,那日历如今 还在墙上挂着?;娜掌谕V乖?1935 年三月中旬。 几天后有人发现了这位 73 岁的老妇人僵硬的尸体——还在守着 马彻勒斯银矿。

still hangs on he wall, In the middle of March, 1935, the marking stopped. The frozen body of the 73-year-old woman was found a few days later, still guarding the Matchless Mine.



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