新概念英语第三册第36课:A chance in a million

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新概念英语第三册第36课:A chance in a million

Lesson 36 A chance in a million 百万分之一的机遇

Listen to the tape then answer the question below.
What was the chance in a million?

We are less credulous than we used to be. In the nineteenth century, a novelist would bring his story to a conclusion by presenting his readers with a series of coincidences -- most of them wildly improbable. Readers happily accepted the fact that an obscure maidservant was really the hero's mother. A long-lost brother, who was presumed dead, was really alive all the time and wickedly plotting to bring about the hero's downfall. And so on. Modern readers would find such naive solution totally unacceptable. Yet, in real life, circumstances do sometimes conspire to bring about coincidences which anyone but a nineteenth century novelist would find incredible.
When I was a boy, my grandfather told me how a German taxi driver, Franz Bussman, found a brother who was thought to have been killed twenty years before. While on a walking tour with his wife, he stooped to talk to a workman. After they had gone on, Mrs. Bussman commented on the workman's close resemblance to her husband and even suggested that he might be his brother. Franz poured scorn on the idea, pointing out that his brother had been killed in action during the war. Though Mrs. Busssman fully acquainted with this story, she thought that there was a chance in a million that she might be right. A few days later, she sent a boy to the workman to ask him if his name was Hans Bussman. Needless to say, the man's name was Hans Bussman and he really was Franz's long-lost brother. When the brothers were reunited, Hans explained how it was that he was still alive. After having been wounded towards the end of the war, he had been sent to hospital and was separated from his unit. The hospital had been bombed and Hans had made his way back into Western Germany on foot. Meanwhile, his unit was lost and all records of him had been destroyed. Hans returned to his family home, but the house had been bombed and no one in the neighbourhood knew what had become of the inhabitants. Assuming that his family had been killed during an air raid, Hans settled down in a village fifty miles away where he had remained ever since.
我们不再像以往那样轻易相信别人了。在19世纪,小说家常在小说结尾处给读者准备一系列的巧合——大部分是牵强附会,极不可能的。当时的读者却愉快地接受 这样一些事实,一个低贱的女佣实际上是主人公的母亲;主人公一位长期失散的兄弟,大家都以为死了,实际上一直活着,并且正在策划暗算主人公;如此等等,现 代读者会觉得这种天真的结局完全无法接受。不过,在现实生活中,有时确实会出现一些巧合,这些巧合除了19世纪小说家外谁也不会相信。
当我是个孩子的时候,我祖父给我讲了一位德国出租汽车司机弗朗兹。巴斯曼如何找到了据信已在20年前死去的兄弟的事。一次,他与妻子徒步旅行。途中,停下 来与一个工人交谈,接着他们继续往前走去。巴斯曼夫人说那工人与她丈夫相貌很像,甚至猜测他可能就是她丈夫的兄弟。弗朗兹对此不屑一顾,指出他兄弟已经在 战争中阵亡了。尽管巴斯曼夫人熟知这个情况,但她仍然认为自己的想法仍有百万分之一的可能性。几天后,她派了一个男孩去问那人是否叫汉斯.巴斯曼。不出巴 斯曼夫人所料,那人的名字真是汉斯.巴斯曼,他确实是弗朗兹失散多年的兄弟。兄弟俩团聚之时,汉斯说明了他活下来的经过,战争即将结束时,他负伤被送进医 院,并与部队失去联系。医院遭到轰炸,汉斯步行回到了西德。与此同时,他所在部队被击溃,他的所有档案材料全部毁于战火。汉斯重返故里,但他的家已被炸 毁,左邻右舍谁也不知原住户的下落,汉斯以为全家人都在空袭中遇难,于是便在距此50英里外的一座村子里定居下来,直至当日。

New words and expressions 生词和短语
adj. 轻信的

adj. 不大可能的

adj. 不起眼的

n. 女仆,女佣

v. 假定

adv. 心眼坏地,居心叵测地

v. 密谋

n. 倒台,垮台

adj. 天真的

adj. 不能接受的

v. (事件)巧合促成

adj. 难以置信的

n. 嘲弄,挖苦

v. 使了解

v. 使团聚

v. 假定,认为

Notes on the text课文注释
1 bring…to a conclusion,作“使……结束”讲。
2 bring about,造成,导致。
3 and so on,等等,诸如此类。
4 do sometimes conspire中,do为助动词,对谓语动词起强调作用。
5 while on a walking tour…,
while后面省略了主谓结构he was。在表示时间、地点、条件、让步等的状语从句中,从句的主语如与主句的主语相同,常省略从句的主语和谓语。
6 pour scorn on…,作“讥笑...”讲。
7 point out,指出,提请注意。
8 be acquainted with,已知道。
9 needless to say,不用说,当然。
10 become of,结果如何,发生了...情况。

Lesson 36 课后练习和答案Exercises and Answer