A Ghost Story



El cuento de Mark Twain, A Ghost Story, en los párrafos finales en inglés. Al final, en vocabulario: wilting, comely y goblin

… When everything was still once more, I crept out of bed, sick and feeble, and lit the gas with a hand that trembled as if it were aged with a hundred years. The light brought some little cheer to my spirits. I sat down and fell into a dreamy contemplation of that great footprint in the ashes. By and by its outlines began to waver and grow dim. I glanced up and the broad gas-flame was slowly wilting away. In the same moment I heard that elephantine tread again. I noted its approach, nearer and nearer, along the musty halls, and dimmer and dimmer the light waned. The tread reached my very door and paused—the light had dwindled to a sickly blue, and all things about me lay in a spectral twilight. The door did not open, and yet I felt a faint gust of air fan my cheek, and presently was conscious of a huge, cloudy presence before me. I watched it with fascinated eyes. A pale glow stole over the Thing; gradually its cloudy folds took shape—an arm appeared, then legs, then a body, and last a great sad face looked out of the vapor. Stripped of its filmy housings, naked, muscular and comely, the majestic Cardiff Giant loomed above me!

All my misery vanished—for a child might know that no harm could come with that benignant countenance. My cheerful spirits returned at once, and in sympathy with them the gas flamed up brightly again. Never a lonely outcast was so glad to welcome company as I was to greet the friendly giant. I said:
“Why, is it nobody but you? Do you know, I have been scared to death for the last two or three hours? I am most honestly glad to see you. I wish I had a chair—Here, here, don’t try to sit down in that thing—”
But it was too late. He was in it before I could stop him and down he went—I never saw a chair shivered so in my life.
“Stop, stop, you’ll ruin ev—”
Too late again. There was another crash, and another chair was resolved into its original elements.
“Confound it, haven’t you got any judgment at all? Do you want to ruin all the furniture on the place? Here, here, you petrified fool—”
But it was no use. Before I could arrest him he had sat down on the bed, and it was a melancholy ruin.
“Now what sort of a way is that to do? First you come lumbering about the place bringing a legion of vagabond goblins along with you to worry me to death, and then when I overlook an indelicacy of costume which would not be tolerated anywhere by cultivated people except in a respectable theater, and not even there if the nudity were of your sex, you repay me by wrecking all the furniture you can find to sit down on. And why will you? You damage yourself as much as you do me. You have broken off the end of your spinal column, and littered up the floor with chips of your hams till the place looks like a marble yard. You ought to be ashamed of yourself—you are big enough to know better.”
Cardiff giant exhumed, 1869
Cardiff giant exhumed, 1869
“Well, I will not break any more furniture. But what am I to do? I have not had a chance to sit down for a century.” And the tears came into his eyes.
“Poor devil,” I said, “I should not have been so harsh with you. And you are an orphan, too, no doubt. But sit down on the floor here—nothing else can stand your weight—and besides, we cannot be sociable with you away up there above me; I want you down where I can perch on this high counting-house stool and gossip with you face to face.” (A Ghost Story, by Mark Twain)

Vocabulario
Wilting: weakening
Comely: attractive
Goblin, gnome and gremlin refer to supernatural beings thought to be malevolent to people. Goblins are demons of any size, usually in human or animal form, that are supposed to assail or afflict human beings. Gnomes are small beings, like ugly little old men, who live in the earth, guarding mines, treasures, etc. They are mysteriously malevolent and terrify human beings by causing dreadful mishaps to occur. Gremlins are thought to disrupt machinery and are active in modern folklore

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